Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20111201

Financial Crisis
»China: As China’s Govt Cheats, Its Economy is “On the Brink of Bankruptcy”, Chinese Scholar Says
»ECB Chief Calls for Greater Fiscal Integration
»EU on Brink of Rebirth or Breakup, ECB Sees No Magic Wand
»Global Central Banks Take Action to Prevent EU Credit Crunch
»Italy: Monti Aims to Approve Measures Before Christmas
»Amnesty Issues New Call to Arrest Bush
»The Republicans’ Farcical Candidates: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses
»Upper West Side Traffic Snarled by Muslim Cabbies Stopping to Pray
»How International Oil Companies Have Thwarted Canadian Energy Independence
Europe and the EU
»France: Actress ‘Banned Muslim Handymen’ Over Chihuahua Worries
»Germany: Merkel ‘Acting Like Bismarck’ — Socialists
»In Italy 1 Out of 3 New HIV Positive is Foreign
»Iran ‘Planning Attacks on US Bases in Germany’
»Italy: Monti Government Gains a Minister
»Italy: Military Possible for Naples-Type Rubbish Situation
»Norwegians Split on Breivik’s Likely Fate
North Africa
»Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Rejoicing, In the Lead With 40%
»Egypt: “Chosen Because We Are Close to the People”
»Flash: What, Me Pessimistic? Egyptian Election Outcome is Worse Than I Expected
Middle East
»Iran: Italy Recalls Ambassador
»Russian Opposition Leader: ‘Putin Wants to Govern for the Rest of His Life’
»Russian Election: The Kremlin’s Dangerous Flirtation With Nationalism
South Asia
»Commando of Iranian Pasdaran Sought Out in Afghanistan
»Furious at Latest U.S. Attack, Pakistan Shuts Down Resupply Routes to Afghanistan “Permanently”
Far East
»Tibet Leader to EU: Do Not Believe Myth of Chinese Supremacy
Australia — Pacific
»Call for Koori-Style Koranic Courts
»Moroccan Crime in the Netherlands & the Myths of Multiculturalism
»‘We Threw Immigrants Out to Sea to Appease the Gods’
Culture Wars
»Britain: Islam in, Christianity Out

Financial Crisis

China: As China’s Govt Cheats, Its Economy is “On the Brink of Bankruptcy”, Chinese Scholar Says

These remarks are not from a dissident or a foreign analyst but from Larry Lang, professor of finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a well-known public figure on mainland television. In a lecture he delivered behind closed doors, he said, “we are not allowed to speak the truth” and “Every [Chinese] province is a Greece.” In an audio file, he explains in five points why China will collapse.

Shanyang (AsiaNews) — China’s economy is on the “brink of bankruptcy” and “every province is a Greece.” Even though, this is factual, “under this system, we are not allowed to speak the truth.” These remarks are not from a dissident or a foreign analyst but from Larry Lang, professor of finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a well-known figure on mainland television. Lang who was speaking in Shenyang City, in northern China’s Liaoning Province demanded strick restrictions on audio and video recordings of his lecture and farbade the audience from reproducing it. However, a leaked audio recording of the speech was made and is now available on Youtube.

In an article on Prof Lang’s leaked speech, The Epoch Times quoted the professor as saying, “What I’m about to say is all true. But under this system, we are not allowed to speak the truth.”

“Don’t think that we are living in a peaceful time now. Actually, the media cannot report anything at all. Those of us who do TV shows are so miserable and frustrated, because we cannot do any programs,” Lang said. For him, five factors explain China’s crisis.

First of all, China’s debt now stands at around 36 trillion yuan (US$ 5.68 trillion), which includes the total debt of local Chinese governments (between 16 trillion and 19.5 trillion yuan, or US$ 2.5 trillion and US$ 3 trillion) and the debt of state-owned enterprises (another 16 trillion). “With interests of two trillion a year, things will unravel quickly,” Lang is quoted as saying.

Then there is inflation. The official figure is 6.2 per cent, but in fact it is 16 per cent. This is explains the hundreds of thousands of episodes of social unrest and the concerns of the People’s Bank of China, which has recently putting a squeeze on liquidity.

Thirdly, the mainland’s economy suffers from “serious excess capacity” with domestic consumption representing only 30 per cent of economic activity. Even though, the domestic market is underdeveloped, consumer prices are skyrocketing. The drop in the Purchasing Managers Index to 50.7 is an indication of China’s economy going in recession.

Fourthly, the official GDP growth rate of 9 per cent is a fabrication. According to Lang’s data, China’s GDP actually shrank. This is why many private companies, which constitute 70 per cent of the GDP, have had to shut down in the past two years, increasing the ranks of the jobless.

Last point, China has one of the highest overall tax rates in the world. Chinese businesses pay about 70 per cent of their earnings in direct and indirect taxes. The individual tax rate sits at 51.6 per cent.

“Once the economic tsunami starts, the regime will lose credibility and China will become the poorest country in the world,” Lang said in concluding his conference.

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

ECB Chief Calls for Greater Fiscal Integration

Move is ‘most important to restore credibility’ says Draghi

(ANSA) — Brussels, December 1 — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament on Thursday that risks to the eurozone economy had increased despite recent changes of government in countries such as Italy and called on nations to align their budgetary policies in order to avoid worsening the crisis. “What I believe our economic and monetary union needs is a new fiscal compact — a fundamental restatement of the fiscal rules together with the mutual fiscal commitments that eurozone governments have made,” he said, calling such a move “the most important element to start restoring credibility”. Draghi, an Italian, said that changing European accords was not out of the question and said the financial markets were “still fragile” despite Italy and Greece having recently replaced their governments with technocrats in response to the escalating euro crisis. Italian Premier Mario Monti said Wednesday he was aiming to make sure Italy had a bigger say in how the EU was laying the groundwork for more coordinated fiscal policies, as France and Germany have also promised to deliver proposals on greater fiscal integration ahead of a summit on December 8-9. “It’s important for Italy to stand beside Germany and France, since it is the third-biggest economy in the eurozone,” said Monti.

Draghi also said that the ECB would make sure inflation would not get out of control after it acted in unison with the US Federal Reserve and central banks in Britain, Japan, Canada and Switzerland to inject more liquidity into the system by cutting interest rates on swaps in dollars on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

EU on Brink of Rebirth or Breakup, ECB Sees No Magic Wand

The European Union began a nine-day battle on Thursday over federal-style changes to save the eurozone, with France set to lay out its policy on new rules for joint budget control. The European Central Bank and Bank of England cooled the air after shock action by central banks to shore up the global system boosted markets.

The new ECB president Mario Draghi sent a strong message that there is no magic wand, telling the European Parliament that the central bank will not act beyond rules laid down by EU treaties and that its purchasing of devalued government bonds is “temporary and limited.” The bank “should not be asked to do things that are not within the treaty”, he told the European Parliament. “It would be not legal, but also a mistake because… it would undermine the credibility in the ECB,” he added.

Bank of England governor Mervyn King said that joint central bank action launched on Wednesday was merely “some temporary relief to liquidity problems” and that the underlying causes had to be “tackled directly by the governments involved.”

Britain is not a member of the eurozone, but as a member of the European Union and a financial centre, is highly exposed to the eurozone debt crisis, and King said the BoE had prepared a plan in case the single currency area breaks up.

The catastrophic risks were highlighted by the EU’s Euro Commissioner Olli Rehn. He declared that monetary union “will either have to be completed through much deeper integration or we will have to accept a gradual disintegration of over half a century of European integration.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Global Central Banks Take Action to Prevent EU Credit Crunch

The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of some of the world’s key economies announced a co-ordinated emergency action to make it easier for banks to borrow US dollars — in effect preventing a global credit crunch. The ECB and the Fed together with the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank on Wednesday agreed to lower by by 50 basis points the cost of dollar currency swaps.

It is the first such co-ordinated move made on this scale since the height of the 2008 financial crisis, although five international central banks provided special loans of US dollars to European banks in September following the downgrade of a pair of French banks in expectation of a Greek sovereign default. The plan goes into effect 5 December and is to last until until February, 2013.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Aims to Approve Measures Before Christmas

(AGI) Rome — Talking to the press today, the Speaker of the Senate Renato Schifani said all austerity measures will be approved before Christmas and parliament will play a rigorous role. “I m certain that, speaking also for the Speaker of the House, that parliament will carefully analyse all measures while acting as quickly as possible.” .

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


Amnesty Issues New Call to Arrest Bush

Amnesty International is calling for the arrest of former President George W. Bush while he is travelling overseas in Africa.

The human rights group issued a statement Thursday calling for the governments of Ethiopia, Tanzania or Zambia to take the former president into custody. According to Amnesty, the 43rd president is complicit in torture conducted by the United States during his administration and should be held pending an international investigation.

“International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” said Amnesty senior legal adviser Matt Pollard in a statement.

Bush is travelling overseas in Africa to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, cervical and breast cancer across the continent. He participated today via satellite in a Worlds AIDS Day event put on by the ONE Campaign and (RED) where he was joined by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.


           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

The Republicans’ Farcical Candidates: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses

The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Upper West Side Traffic Snarled by Muslim Cabbies Stopping to Pray

UPPER WEST SIDE, NY (PIX11)— If you need to catch a cab, you may want to try the Upper West Side. Some residents who live next to the Islamic Cultural Center on Riverside Drive say their neighborhood is flooded with parked taxis every week.

“They are everywhere, hundreds of them. I joke with my doorman every Friday I can’t find a cab,” said John Hart, who lives across the street in a high-rise building.

“I have to pray,” said a cabbie who did not want to give his name,” I have no choice but to break the rules.”

The Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center, Abdur Rahman, told PIX11 News, muslims must pray several times a day and that he urges his worshippers not to break any parking rules to pray. “A good muslim does not offend anybody. I wish the City, though, could give us 45 minutes on Fridays to pray, like Christians on Sunday,” said Rahman.

“I don’t know how they get away with it,” said Hart, who hopes the N.Y.P.D. will crack down on parking violators. “It’s a sea of yellow and its got to stop,” continued Hart.

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]


How International Oil Companies Have Thwarted Canadian Energy Independence

by Kurt Cobb

So much of the discussion surrounding an extension of the existing Keystone oil pipeline system which spans Canada and the United States assumes that the growing production of bitumen (it’s not really oil) from the Canadian tar sands is either going to the United States or to China. But the following question ought to be an obvious one to anyone who knows that Canada imports 43 percent of the oil it consumes: Why isn’t there any discussion of a new pipeline to eastern Canada where most of the oil consumed is imported?

Perhaps I should back up a bit for those who are scratching their heads because they know that Canada is a large oil exporter. Canada is indeed a large oil exporter. First, let’s note that Canada’s total petroleum production was 2.9 million barrels per day in 2010. Canadians consumed only about 1.8 million barrels per day that year. So, how is it possible that 43 percent of their needs had to be imported? (The number was 65 percent for the provinces from Ontario eastward.) The answer is straightforward once you get a glimpse of the North American oil pipeline system. Notice that the one lone pipeline going from Montreal to Sarnia is flowing away from eastern Canada.


[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Actress ‘Banned Muslim Handymen’ Over Chihuahua Worries

One of France’s most well-known singers and actresses, Marie Laforêt, will today appear in a Paris courtroom to defend herself against charges that a job advertisement she placed discriminated against Muslims. 72-year-old Laforêt, who first found fame as an actress in the 1960s, placed an ad on an internet site looking for someone to carry out some work on her terrace in 2009, reported daily newspaper Le Parisien on Thursday.

She specified in the ad that “people with allergies or orthodox Muslims” should not apply “due to a small chihuahua.” Laforêt claimed that she made the stipulation because she believed the Muslim faith saw dogs as unclean. The case was taken up by anti-discrimination organization Mrap, which lodged a complaint against the internet site which ran the ad.

“To think that Marie Laforêt is racist is just stupid,” said her lawyer, David Koubbi, according to the newspaper. He said the words in the advertisement were only a “warning.” Koubbi added that the star “has always shown her interest and admiration for the Muslim faith.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Merkel ‘Acting Like Bismarck’ — Socialists

Two senior Socialists attacked Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, with one complaining about her “Bismarck-style policies.” François Hollande, who will stand as the Socialists’ candidate in next year’s presidential elections, was in Brussels for a series of meetings with fellow left-wing parties. He criticized a German proposal that would place the supervision of national budgets under the auspices of the European Court of Justice.

“I will never accept that for the sake of controlling national budgets and coordinating budget policy the European Court of Justice should be the judge of the spending and receipts of a sovereign state,” he said. Hollande also took the opportunity to criticize the dynamics in the relationship between Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

“For several months, it’s Mrs Merkel who decides and Nicolas Sarkozy who follows,” he said. Hollande’s comments seemed restrained in comparison with heated remarks made by fellow Socialist Arnaud Montebourg. Montebourg, who came third in the October election to choose the party’s presidential candidate, was speaking on a TV discussion programme on Wednesday about the eurozone crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

In Italy 1 Out of 3 New HIV Positive is Foreign

(AGI) Rome — If we analyze the impact of new HIV positive cases (4.0 new cases among Italian citizens and 20.0 new cases among foreign residents), we see that almost 1 person out of 3 diagnosed as Hiv positive is foreign according to 2010 data.

Foreign people and the elderly are more likely to be diagnosed late. Giovanni Rezza, a doctor specialised in infectous deseases, says: “ Around 36% of new Hiv diagnosis come late and this represents a major threat to the immunitarian system”.

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

Iran ‘Planning Attacks on US Bases in Germany’

Tehran may be planning attacks on US bases in Germany in the event of an American military strike against targets in Iran, German investigators have reportedly said. The Bild newspaper reported on Thursday that experts with the Federal Criminal Police Office believe in the event of a US military action against Iran, the Iranians would attack US military airfields in order to disrupt supply and logistics operations.

Federal prosecutors have launched an espionage investigation against a German businessman possibly connected to the plot who they believe has maintained conspirational contact with the Iranian embassy in Berlin, Bild reported. “We have an investigation on this issue,” the head of the federal prosecutors’ office, Harald Range, confirmed to reporters on Thursday.

However, the head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Jörg Ziercke, stressed: “We do not see any immediate danger right now.” The report comes as tensions between Iran and the West have ratcheted up dramatically in recent days. A report on November 8 by the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency charged that Iran was likely trying to covertly develop its nuclear weapons program.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Government Gains a Minister

Ciaccia (ex-Intesa) becomes Passera’s deputy. Patroni Griffi takes over civil service ministry. Grilli deputy economy minister. Swearing-in on Tuesday at Quirinale Palace.

MILAN — With one new minister, three deputy ministers and twenty-five junior ministers, Mario Monti’s government team is now complete. The new ministry — for civil service reform and simplification — brings the total to eighteen and will be led by Filippo Patroni Griffi. Treasury director general Vittorio Grilli will become Mario Monti’s personal number two as deputy minister of the economy. After several days’ gestation, the list of junior ministers was signed off in double-quick time by the council of ministers. The meeting started an hour and a half late, testifying to how complex the junior minister issue had become over the past few days, but it lasted only twenty minutes. Andrea Riccardi, the minister for international co-operation, said as he emerged from the meeting: “The deputy and junior ministers make a fine list of technocrats”.

NEW MINISTRY — The creation of a new ministry for the civil service received a green light, bringing the total number of ministers to eighteen. The need to include a full ministry for the civil service had emerged during the morning in the course of talks at the Quirinale Palace between Mr Monti and the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, but there appears to have been some disagreement over the name, despite the fact that Mr Patroni Griffi has feet in both political camps. He is an associate of former Democratic Party (PD) minister Franco Bassanini and of former People of Freedom (PDL) minister Renato Brunetta, who put him in charge of the COVIP pension fund watchdog. Junior minister for the Prime Minister’s Office Antonio Catricalà is believed to have had reservations, later withdrawn, about the appointment. Also assuaged were the reservations of Vittorio Grilli, who has been in pole position for several days to become deputy economy minister…

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

Italy: Military Possible for Naples-Type Rubbish Situation

(AGI) Rome — “It is not out of the question that law enforcement and military will have to contribute for situations like Naples,” said Environment Minister Corrado Clini speaking before parliament’s Environment Commission. “We are once again in a situation on the brink,” he said.

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

Norwegians Split on Breivik’s Likely Fate

A day after the man who killed 77 people in July was declared insane, Norwegians were split on Wednesday on whether his likely sentence of psychiatric care was too easy or if it might be enough to quash his ideology. Two psychiatrists tasked with examining the perpetrator of the worst attacks carried out in Norway since World War II handed over their findings on Tuesday: the 32-year-old right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik suffers from “paranoid schizophrenia”.

Their diagnosis, which signifies that he most likely will be sentenced to receive psychiatric care in a closed institution — possibly for the rest of his life — instead of prison, has sparked vivid debate in Norway and has especially set internet message boards ablaze. “The worst mass murderer in the world absolved. Nowhere else but Norway,” someone using the pseudonym Juletissen wrote on a message board hosted by the VG daily.

“Breivik is unaccountable and a paranoid schizophreniac. One could certainly have said the same thing about Hitler and Stalin,” Ingeborg Vea chimed in on the Twitter microblogging site. In the streets of Oslo, reactions were more moderate. “Only a crazy person could do something like this,” Sten Ture Jensen, a 55-year-old investor, told AFP.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Rejoicing, In the Lead With 40%

Unofficial data show Salafi coalition coming in second

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Vote counting is slowly and laboriously continuing in Egypt, causing the announcement of the results for the first round of parliamentary elections to be postponed, but they are expected to be made known today.

However, unofficial data of the elections in 9 of the 27 Egyptian electorates confirm the widely-expected success of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) are in the lead in Egypt, often followed by the Al Nour coalition of Salafi parties. Coming in third is the secular, moderate party coalition the Egyptian Bloc, with the Free Egyptians under Coptic tycoon Naguib Sawiris. The voting seems instead to have punished the former members of ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, who ran as independents. In a number of constituencies the run-off for the uninominal is between a Freedom and Justice candidate and an Al Nour one. Generally speaking, according to press leaks reported by Egyptian online media, the most fundamentalist parties did very well in rural areas such as Al Fayyoum, where the Muslim Brotherhood say they raked in the highest number of votes, but not as well in Cairo where the Egyptian Bloc came out ahead in some of the more residential areas. Yesterday the Muslim Brotherhood released two statements in which they cried victory, saying they had received 40% of votes, while for the time being Al Nour is remaining silent while awaiting for consolidated results. According to unofficial figures online, in the Brotherhood stronghold of Alexandria the FJP received 44% of votes, Al Nour 27% and the Egyptian Bloc 19%. In Port Said the Muslim Brotherhood are in the lead followed by Al Nour, while in third place there is the moderate Islamist group Al Wasat, giving Islamists — as noted by Al Ahram online — a landslide victory. In the uninominal, a Brotherhood candidate was voted in, while for the other seat at stake there will be a run-off between the leftist party Tagammu and the Salafi candidate. Also in Luxor, which it seemed for most of yesterday that the Egyptian Bloc would come out ahead, the FJP may be the one to claim victory in the end. In second place will likely be either Al Nour or the Egyptian Bloc, and in third the liberal party Wafd. In Assiut in Upper Egypt, there will be two run-offs: one between a Brotherhood candidate and an Egyptian Bloc candidate and another between a Salafi candidate and an independent. While awaiting official certification of the Freedom and Justice Party win, Mohamed Morsi has already made it clear that it will have to be the parliamentary majority to form the next government. The Egyptian Bloc is getting ready for the battle of the next two rounds, which will be held on December 14 and January 3, while Tahrir Square demonstrators have announced another protest for tomorrow.(

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt: “Chosen Because We Are Close to the People”

Ali Abdel Fatah,from Muslim Brotherhood’s political office,says

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 30 — “It is the Egyptian people who have chosen the Muslim Brotherhood, which has always been in touch with the people politically and socially, thanks to the services supplied to simple citizens”. So said Ali Abdel Fatah, from the political office of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of the movement’s Justice and Freedom party. Fatah has no doubt as to the recipe for the success of the party, which all unofficial figures suggest to be the country’s leading political force after the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which were held on Monday and yesterday in 9 of the 27 Egyptian governorates.

“We must respect the will of the people, which shows that democracy is rooted in Egypt,” Fatah said in a phone interview with ANSA, pointing out that a number of associations that have recently appointed new senior officials have chosen members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fatah rejects accusations levelled at the Brotherhood on several occasions in recent days, according to which the movement’s election campaign featured religious slogans, the circulation of damaging insinuations against their opponents or “buying” votes by supplying necessary goods. “These are accusations without the slightest foundation,” Fatah says. “I challenge anyone to prove these accusations. The Muslim Brotherhood is used to serving the people, especially the poorest”.

Going slightly against comments made today by Mohamed Morsi, the lead of Justice and Freedom, who says that the parliamentary majority should elect the new government, Fatah said that Parliament will be able to revoke its faith in the government after the launch of the new Constitution and presidential elections, which are scheduled for June 2012. Fatah underlined, however, that the military council has presidential powers and prerogatives until this date.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Flash: What, Me Pessimistic? Egyptian Election Outcome is Worse Than I Expected

By Barry Rubin

Since last February I have predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood would win elections in Egypt. People have thought me very pessimistic. Now the votes are starting to come in and…it’s much worse than I thought. But my prediction that the Brotherhood and the other Islamists would gain a slight majority seems to have been fulfilled and then some. According to most reports the Brotherhood is scoring at just below 40 percent all by itself.

Why worse? For two reasons:

First, the votes we now have come from the most urban areas of the country. If there are Facebook sophisticates they’re going to be in Cairo and Alexandria. If the moderates do that bad in the big cities, what’s going to happen in the villages up the Nile? If the fascist party came in first in some European countries Social Democratic districts you know you are in trouble.

The Brotherhood came in first in Cairo and Alexandria. Think about that. Of course there are millions of migrants from rural areas in those places but that’s also where the middle class, such as it is, lives.

Second, the moderate parties didn’t even come in second they came in third or close to it. The Salafists—that is people who are even more radical than the Muslim Brotherhood—came in second. That they did that well is a surprise. That they did that well without bumping the Brotherhood down a notch is really shocking.

Estimates for the Justice Party, the Facebook kids of January are getting 5 to 10 percent. Even together with the other two main moderate parties that means the liberals won’t be able to block anything. Already the Brotherhood is tasting blood and talking about pressing the army junta to accelerate the turnover of power.

It’s hard to see, though that there can be any such transfer of power. The voting is far from finished and will be going on for about three months more, followed by a presidential election. Oh, yes, the results so far suggest that the Islamists will also win the presidency.

That’s when the fun really starts. President Barack Obama is going to face a challenge he is incapable of meeting since he doesn’t even understand what’s going on. He’s like a man who has been told that a ferocious lion is really a playful kitten and then tries to feed it by hand..

Or, to switch metaphors in the middle of the stream of thought, perhaps Dr. Frankenstein is a more apt image:…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran: Italy Recalls Ambassador

Bradanini back for consultations amid renewed tension

(ANSA) — Brussels, December 1 — Italy has decided to recall its ambassador in Tehran, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi told reporters in Brussels Thursday.

The ambassador, Alberto Bradanini, has been called home for “consultations” amid renewed tension between Iran and the international community over Tehran’s nuclear programme and an attack by protesters on the British embassy on Tuesday, Terzi said.

The European Union said Thursday it was weighing fresh sanctions on Iran including energy restrictions but not a full-scale oil embargo. The Italian embassy in Tehran on Thursday warned Italian nationals to take greater care in their movements, avoiding religious ceremoniess and other gatherings, as well as mosques.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Russian Opposition Leader: ‘Putin Wants to Govern for the Rest of His Life’

In a SPIEGEL interview, Russia’s most prominent opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, explains why he considers Sunday’s elections in the country to be a farce, why he believes Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is arrogant and how he perceives President Dmitry Medvedev to be a failure.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Russian Election: The Kremlin’s Dangerous Flirtation With Nationalism

Ahead of Russia’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, the pro-Kremlin parties are using nationalist rhetoric in a bid to exploit growing right-wing sentiment in the country. But it’s a dangerous game. If the far right gets stronger, it could pose a threat to Vladimir Putin.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Commando of Iranian Pasdaran Sought Out in Afghanistan

(AGI) Rome — A commando of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, armed with long-range missiles, has penetrated into Afghanistan. According to AGI reports, the group, which is considered to be Tehran’s elite military force, allegedly penetrated into Gulistan and is now heading to the province of Bamyan, a territory that has progressively passed under the control of Afghan soldiers since last July, even if there are still ISAF forces deployed there. The region between Gulistan and Bamyan is witnessing a full-fledged man-hunt and fears are rising that the armaments in possession of the commando might be used to perform remote terrorist attacks.

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

Furious at Latest U.S. Attack, Pakistan Shuts Down Resupply Routes to Afghanistan “Permanently”

by John Daly

NATO recently literally shot itself in the foot, imperiling the resupply of International Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan by shooting up two Pakistani border posts in a “hot pursuit’ raid.

Given that roughly 100 fuel tanker trucks along with 200 other trucks loaded with NATO supplies cross into Afghanistan each day from Pakistan, Pakistan’s closure of the border has ominous long-term consequences for the logistical resupply of ISAF forces, even as Pentagon officials downplay the issue and scramble for alternative resupply routes.

Pakistan, long angry about ISAF/NATO cross border raids, has apparently reached the end of its tether. Following the 26 November NATO aerial assault on two border posts in Mohmand Agency in Pakistan’s turbulent NorthWest Frontier Province, Islamabad promptly sealed its border with Afghanistan to NATO supplies after the allied strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The U.S. military insists a joint patrol with Afghan forces was fired upon first and only responded with return fire and calling in airstrikes on the posts, which a commander mistakenly identified as Taliban training camps, after reportedly checking that there were no Pakistani military forces nearby. Pakistan Major General Ishfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, rebutted Washington’s assertions one by one, commenting, “The positions of the posts were already conveyed to the ISAF through map references and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts.”


[Return to headlines]

Far East

Tibet Leader to EU: Do Not Believe Myth of Chinese Supremacy

Tibet’s new political leader, Lobsang Sangay, has said EU politicians should not bow to China in the belief it is becoming the next world superpower.

Asked if he is concerned the EU is going soft on values for the sake of strategic relations, Sangay said EU politicians should not believe the narrative that China is becoming an economic superpower.

He pointed to studies which say the Indian model of organic growth, next to China’s model of foreign capital and state-run firms, will see India move ahead of China in the coming years: “As long as a process is democratic and based on rule of law, rather than top-down, there is more chance of its being fair and sustainable. Because of censorship, we do not see the damage [the Chinese government] is doing. We don’t understand the ramifications of the economic and political decisions made by the leadership.”

Lack of proper oversight on dams built on rivers such as the Brahmaputra and the Mekong could cause environmental chaos in future, he warned.

Political persecution and mass-scale mineral exploitation in Tibet is also causing “a scar on the psyche of the people” that could end in upheaval, he added: “I am not predicting anything, but the Arab Spring also came out of nowhere.”

He noted that Chinese statisticians have been caught lying on GDP growth: “The Chinese economy might seem to be booming. But what is really happening on the ground is difficult to asses … Reports say they are spending $1.4 trillion on an internal stimulus package. But at the same time, China is also spending more on internal security than on external security.”

For his part, the spokesman of the Chinese EU mission, Wang Xining, rubbished Sangay’s views.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Call for Koori-Style Koranic Courts

A VICTORIAN Somali community leader has called for Koranic courts to hear cases involving Muslims in the same way Koori courts are offered as an alternative for Aboriginal offenders.

Somali Community of Victoria president Abdurahman Osman said Koranic courts would maintain Islamic culture while also reducing legal costs borne by the state.

“Instead of applying sharia law in Australia, it is better to have a Koranic court (like) the court Australia has for the Aborigines,” he said. “That could help all African communities, especially the Somali community.

“We need this kind of court, this is our culture.”

Indigenous defendants who plead guilty to their charges and live in certain areas can elect to have their case heard in the more informal setting of the Koori court. Indigenous sentencing courts operate in all mainland states and territories, usually as a division of the magistrates court.

Offences involving family violence or sexual assault are not permitted to be heard in the Koori court, but Mr Osman told The Australian domestic issues would be appropriate for a Koranic court, where a jury of elders from the same background as the defendant would rule on the case. “Domestic violence and problems between two families, between husband and wife, and if the crime comes from children, if youth are fighting each other — these kind of things we could solve in our cultural way,” he said.

“We have elders who can deal with these kind of problems in a proper way inside the court, the same as with the Aborigines in Koori court. In our culture everything is solved by the elders.”

Other Muslim leaders have previously called for sharia law to be considered in areas such as family law.

A submission from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to a parliamentary inquiry on multiculturalism earlier this year called for Muslims to be offered “legal pluralism”, prompting Attorney-General Robert McClelland to rule out any changes which would introduce aspects of sharia law.

Mr Osman also flagged the possibility of social unrest among African youth unless more action was taken to address unemployment levels in the community.

Mr Osman has asked Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt to push for African employment offices in Victoria and other centres where African migrants have congregated.

A spokesman for Mr Bandt said he had “qualified support” for the proposal and had already held initial discussions with the Gillard government.

           — Hat tip: Salome[Return to headlines]


Moroccan Crime in the Netherlands & the Myths of Multiculturalism

Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior. In Dutch neighborhoods where the majority of residents are Moroccan immigrants, the youth crime rate reaches 50%. Moreover, juvenile delinquency among Moroccans is not limited to males; girls and young women are increasingly involved in criminal activities.

The “Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011” also reveals that most of the Moroccan youth involved in criminal activities were born in Holland. This implies that the children of Moroccan immigrants are not integrating into Dutch society, and confirms that the Netherlands is paying dearly for its failed multicultural approach to immigration.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘We Threw Immigrants Out to Sea to Appease the Gods’

(AGI) Agrigento — First a full-fledged ethnic warfare was waged on the boat, with Central Africans fighting Maghreb migrants.

At that point, the latter were overwhelmed triggering hell on boad of the boat that sailed out of Libya and reached Lampedusa carrying 367 immigrants. The Central Africans in fact killed at least fifteen North Africans and threw their bodies out to sea even if, when they were abandoned in the Strait of Sicily, they were still alive. Investigations later found that many of them were killed in the conviction of appeasing the wrath of God after a rather difficult journey which was exacerbated with an engine breakdown which sent the boat adrift. In order to track the five people who were later arrested during the night, all of who had a resident permit after having sought and obtained political asylum, the police interrogated at least one hundred of the refugees who landed on Lampedusa on the 4th of August.

After cross-checking testimonies and stories, the Agrigento-based Police Flying Squad, in collaboration with their colleagues from Cosenza, Enna and Salerno, arrested 3 Ghanians, 37-year old Faisal Igala, 28-year old Mohamed Adama and 44-year old Kujo Ahmokugo and two Nigerians, 38-year old Emeka Ohalete and 35-year old Douglass Ounchukwu. The arrest warrants were issued by the Deputy Public Prosecutor of Agrigento, Ignazio Fonzo and by Assistant Prosecutor Andrea Bianchi. They are all heavily suspected of multiple charges of murder aggravated by futile reasons and by the circumstances of time and place. The witnesses told investigators a veritable horror story. The conflict started out with ethnic clashes between Central and North Africans, followed by the engine breakdown and lastly by a battle on the boat deck in which the Central Africans prevailed. Some more migrants died of asphyxia after being crammed in the hold and their bodies were later thrown out to sea. The five persons arrested were being hosted for humanitarian reasons in reception centers, 2 in Palinuro, in the province of Salerno, one in Cosenza and the remaining 2 in a hotel in Enna.

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

Culture Wars

Britain: Islam in, Christianity Out

by Soeren Kern

A Christian worker in Britain has filed a lawsuit after losing her job when she exposed a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims.

In a landmark legal case, Nohad Halawi, a former employee at London’s Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that Christian staff members, including her, were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

Halawi’s case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), an organization that provides legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom. CLC says the case raises important legal issues, and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

Halawi, who immigrated to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, told the London Telegraph “that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.”

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]