Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20111213

Financial Crisis
»Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged
»Greece: Troika Asks for Another 150,000 Layoffs
»Italy: Cuts to MPs’ Salaries Taken Out of Govt’s Hands
»Frank Gaffney: Silencing the Watchdogs of Religious Freedom
»NASA Blasted for Losing Space Samples in the Mail
»TCC [Tarrant County Colleges] Professor’s Lecture on Islam Causes Controversy
»Canada Withdraws as Kyoto Protocol Signatory
»Mixed Reaction From Calgary’s Islamic Community at Niqab Ruling
Europe and the EU
»Attack in Belgian City Leaves 4 Dead, 75 Wounded
»Belgium Grenade Attack Leaves at Least Two Dead
»Belgium: Liege Rampage: Deadly Grenade Attack in Belgium (Video, Photos)
»Belgium Grenade, Gun Attack Kills at Least Two, Injures 64
»Belgium Grenade Attack: Latest
»France: Nanterre: 350 Muslims Pray in Street to Ask for Legalisation of Mosque
»Greece: Israeli, US Interest in Oil and Gas Projects
»Italians Help Glimpse ‘God Particle’
»LHC Sees Hint of Lightweight Higgs Boson
»Lone Gunman Kills One, Wounds 64 in Belgian City Attack
»Man Shoots Christmas Shoppers in Belgium, Kills Three
»Norway Butter Crisis Eased
»Norwegian Peace-Researcher: Israel Behind Breivik?
»Switzerland: Anti-Islam Group Fights Fribourg Ban
»UK: Brain Scans Should Not be Used in Court… For Now
»UK: Plans Submitted for Eco-Friendly Mosques
»UK: Silly Me, I Didn’t Realise the Rioters Were Victims
»Woman Risks Jail for Wearing Full Veil in France
North Africa
»Libya: Qatar to Rebuild Post-Gaddafi Media System
Middle East
»Turkey: Jewish Community Wants Protection in New Constitution
»War Games: Iran to Close Strait of Hormuz
South Asia
»Pakistan: Chained and in Tears: Children Found in Basement as Police Raid Islamic School Thought to be a ‘Taliban Training Centre’
Far East
»China’s Ten-Year WTO Membership Overshadowed
»Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Illegal Immigration ‘A National Calamity’
Culture Wars
»UK: The Teenage Politics of the British Churches Are Summed Up by Their Pathetic Christmas Poster

Financial Crisis

Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it will take no new steps to boost economic growth this year, citing mounting evidence that the American economy is chugging slowly toward good health.

The Fed said that recent improvements in the economy came despite the deterioration of global conditions, and it noted the continuing risk that a European meltdown could undermine the nascent American recovery.

[Return to headlines]

Greece: Troika Asks for Another 150,000 Layoffs

By 2015 to drastically reduce public spending

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DECEMBER 13 — The troika is asking the Greek government to lay off another 150,000 civil servants, according to reports in the Greek newspapers today, which specified that this is only one of the measures that representatives for Greece’s international creditors requested yesterday during a meeting with Greece’s Minister for Administrative Reform, Dimitris Reppas. The minister, according to the Greek dailies, told troika representatives Matthias Mors, Mark Flamagan and Bob Traa that the measure to temporarily suspend jobs for surplus workers did not give the desired results because it was implemented too quickly and without a proper evaluation of the public sector. Also, according to a statement from the ministry, Reppas informed them about a series of reforms carried out in Greece since August 29 when the troika reps made their last visit to the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Cuts to MPs’ Salaries Taken Out of Govt’s Hands

Deadline of Dec. 31 set for proposals

(ANSA) — Rome, December 13 — A plan to cut Italian MPs salaries was taken out of the hands of Mario Monti’s government’s emergency government on Tuesday, at least for the moment.

Italian parliamentarians’ pay is well over the European average, according to many experts, and the issue has been at the centre of a major controversy, with Monti’s administration asking the nation to make big sacrifices to get Italy out of its debt crisis.

Monti’s so-called Save Italy package had stipulated that MPs’ salaries would be cut with a government decree, but this item was amended on Tuesday following protests from many parties.

Some commentators have said the MPs are reluctant to have their salaries touched, which suggests they do not want to do their bit to help the country of of the crisis.

Many MPs argue this is not the case, saying they will move fast on introducing cuts once it is clear how much higher their salaries are above the European average.

A parliamentary committee has been tasked with preparing a report on the average pay for MPs across the continent and drafting proposals for changes to salaries in Italy.

Tuesday’s amendment stated that if the committee does not finish its work by December 31, “parliament and the government, each in their own field of competence, will take immediate initiatives suited to achieving the objectives”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Frank Gaffney: Silencing the Watchdogs of Religious Freedom

We have been hearing a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood lately — and none of it is good news. Get used to it. With the Brotherhood’s ascendancy in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and beyond, the world is going to be subjected to a crash course in Islamist supremacism — and what it means for the rest of us.

We were on notice even before the Egyptian elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their allies secured upwards of sixty percent of the votes in that country’s new, post-Mubarak parliament — and the murderous violence towards Coptic Christians that preceded them. A reminder came on December 7th when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed convictions ofleaders of the MB-associated Holy Land Foundation. The earlier trial in 2008 did much to expose the totalitarian, supremacist nature and seditious objectives of that group, elsewhere and here in the United States…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

NASA Blasted for Losing Space Samples in the Mail

We’re used to cheques getting lost in the mail — but moon dust? A recent report blasts NASA for losing hundreds of rock and dust samples from the moon and elsewhere — and the space agency says in some cases the postal service was to blame. NASA has a treasure trove of some of the world’s rarest materials: moon rocks, a pinch of comet dust netted by the Stardust space probe and Martian meteorites gathered from Antarctica. But hundreds of these samples have been lost or stolen over the years, according to a new report by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which provides independent oversight of the agency.

NASA officials told OIG investigators that 517 samples had been reported lost or stolen between 1970 and June 2010. Some of these were recovered not long after they went missing, including a stolen batch of over 200 lunar samples. But many appear to be lost to science forever, and the losses continue. In March, OIG investigators started checking on materials loaned to 59 US researchers. They found 22 meteorite samples and 2 comet dust samples from the Stardust mission were missing.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

TCC [Tarrant County Colleges] Professor’s Lecture on Islam Causes Controversy

FORT WORTH — The evening of Nov. 8 is being described as infamous by some students in Paul Derengowski’s Great Religions of the World class at Tarrant County College’s Southeast Campus. That’s when the second of the professor’s two lectures on Islam ended in a headline-grabbing controversy. Two Muslim students questioned Derengowski’s source material and objectivity. The students later aired their concerns to the college administration — a move that resulted in Derengowski’s Nov. 15 resignation and prompted other students to file grievances that question the college’s handling of the situation. Derengowski says the college took the politically correct route by focusing on his lesson rather than disciplining the students, who he said berated him and disrupted his class. “My recommendation was expulsion,” he said, explaining that the only way he would return to TCC if is the college apologizes, expels the students with failing grades and allows him to resume his lessons without stipulations that he be neutral.

The Muslim students believed that Derengowski, who on his website lists Islam as a cult, was disparaging their religion. Randa Bedair, one of the students involved, told the Star-Telegram that she was trying to stay out of the limelight and declined to comment. The male student could not be reached for comment. The case is an example for some in the Muslim community of how religious history or philosophy classes need to be handled through a neutral and impartial lens. When a professor’s objectivity is questioned, it detracts from the lesson, they said. “In terms of religion, we need to be religious neutral in terms of giving edicts about what you think religion is,” said Mustafaa Carroll, executive of CAIR Texas, an affiliate of the Council on American Islamic Relations. The Derengowski case is pending an investigation, said Frank Griffis, TCC spokesman. He said TCC won’t provide information while college officials are looking into it.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Canada Withdraws as Kyoto Protocol Signatory

(AGI) Ottawa — The Kyoto Protocol, even after the Durban Conference’s near failure, continues to lose signatories.

Canada has announced it is to withdraw from the emissions and climate change agreement.

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

Mixed Reaction From Calgary’s Islamic Community at Niqab Ruling

Zaheera Tariq looks back with pride on the day she became a Canadian citizen. The South African-born mother of three took her oath of citizenship alongside dozens of other new immigrants at the Harry Hays Building downtown five years ago. It was a happy day, joyful even- nothing like Monday when Tariq learned that from now on Muslim women who observe the custom of wearing a face-covering, like the niqab, will be required to remove it before taking the oath of citizenship. “It was really depressing to hear this news,” said Tariq, president of the Islamic Association of Canadian Women. “If a woman wants citizenship she must take off her niqab — but if she takes off her niqab, she is violating her (beliefs).” Tariq wears the hijab, a head scarf that doesn’t hide the face, but she supports women who make the choice to cover more. “When I go outdoors I don’t care if I’m in a bikini or a burka because in Canada I’m free to do what I want, as long as (it’s) not against the law,” said Tariq. “I think we should just honour and respect each other’s choices.”

But new Canadians won’t have a choice when it comes to swearing the oath of citizenship. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Monday that effective immediately Muslim women will now have to remove their niqabs, burkas and other face-coverings before crossing that final hurdle toward becoming a Canadian citizen. Reaction from the local Muslim community was mixed.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Attack in Belgian City Leaves 4 Dead, 75 Wounded

LIEGE, Belgium (AP) — A man armed with grenades and an assault rifle attacked holiday shoppers Tuesday at a central square in the Belgian city of Liege, leaving four people dead and wounding 75 others, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack in the busy Place Saint-Lambert, the central entry point to downtown shopping streets in the industrial city in eastern Belgium. The attack ignited a stampede of hundreds, as shoppers fled the explosions and bullets.

Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said the attack did not involve terrorism but did not explain why he thought that.

Belgian officials identified the attacker as Norodine Amrani, 33, a Liege resident who they said had done jail time for offenses involving guns, drugs and sexual abuse. He was among the dead, but Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders told reporters it was unclear if he committed suicide or died by accident. He did not die at the hands of police, she said.

The dead also included two teenage boys, 15 and 17, and a 75-year-old woman, she said. The La Libre newspaper reported that a 2-year-old girl was clinging to life.

Reynders said Amrani had been summoned for police questioning on Tuesday but the reason for the questioning was not clear. He still had a number of grenades with him when he died, she said.

Officials said Amrani left his home in Liege with a backpack, armed with hand grenades, a revolve and an FAL assault rifle. He walked alone to the central square, then got onto a platform that gave him an ideal view of the square below, which was bedecked with a huge Christmas tree and crowded with shoppers.

From there, Amrani lobbed three hand grenades toward a nearby bus shelter, which serves 1,800 buses a day, then opened fire on the crowd. The explosions sent glass from the bus shelter across a wide area.

“I heard a loud boom,” said witness Dimitri Degryse. “I thought it was something on my car that was broken or something. Then a few seconds after a second boom, and I saw all the glass breaking, I saw people running, screaming.”

As soon as the shooting began, hundreds of people fled the square as well as a Christmas market in an adjacent square, rampaging through old city streets looking for cover. Video from the scene showed people, including a large group of children, fleeing the city center, some still carrying shopping bags.

As police hunted for possible accomplices, residents were ordered to stay in their homes or seek shelter in shops or public buildings. As sirens howled and a police chopper roared overhead, a medical post was set up in the nearby courtyard of the Prince Bishops courthouse. Dozens of emergency vehicles took victims away for treatment.

Police closed off the area but found no accomplices and calm returned a few hours after.

The Place Saint-Lambert and the nearby Place du Marche host Liege’s annual Christmas market, which consists of 200 tiny shops and attracts some 1.5 million visitors a year. By dusk, with the Christmas lights gleaming again, King Albert II and Queen Paola came to pay their respects, as did Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

[Return to headlines]

Belgium Grenade Attack Leaves at Least Two Dead

At least two people have been killed and up to 47 others wounded when up to four grenades exploded outside the main courthouse in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.

The attack took place around noon on Saint-Lambert square, home to the town’s courthouse and located near a busy Christmas market, Belga news agency said.

A two-year-old child is reportedly fighting for life in hospital. Six other victims are said to be gravely injured.

One of two or more assailants threw stun grenades into the courthouse while another was hurled at a bus shelter, RTL-TV1 said.

Shots were fired across the square by gunmen posted on the rooftop of a bakery shop, with further shots heard later from across town.

Police cordoned off the square and gave chase to the assailants, one of whom was reportedly killed. The gunmen are thought to be hiding in Liege cathedral.

Gaspard Grosjean, a journalist for La Meuse Liege on the scene, told The Daily Telegraph there was panic and confusion on the streets of Liege.

“There is at least one dead and the attacker. Police are looking for another shooter. There are lots of ambulances and many casualties — at least 10 people.

“At the moment you can’t move in the city centre. People are crying and in shock — they do not know what is going on. Everyone has been told to stay inside and are hiding in shops.”

Local bus operator TEC said that its buses were no longer able to enter the city centre. A museum located on the square said it had taken in injured people.

“As we are very close and we have an open space where you can enter and leave with no problem. I can say there were injured, but don’t ask me if it’s five, seven, eight or nine. I don’t know,” said Archeoforum director Jean-Jacques Messiaen.

Police were not immediately contactable to confirm the toll or events.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Belgium: Liege Rampage: Deadly Grenade Attack in Belgium (Video, Photos)

A grenade attack has killed up to four people and injured 75 on Tuesday in the eastern Belgian city of Liege, according to media reports quoting police sources. Although accounts differ, local authorities are now saying there was only one assailant. Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders said that a 15-year old boy, a 17 year-old girl and an elderly woman were among the dead, the Associated Press (AP) reports. Seven people have been taken to hospital with serious injuries, and a two-year old baby is in a critical condition. Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said Tuesday that there was only one assailant, and that person had died in the attack. The Belgian Newspaper Le Soir has identified the attacker as 32-year-old Nordine Amrani.

Eyewitnesses had previously said that up to three men opened fire on a crowd and proceeded to lob grenades at a bus station in Place Saint Lambert Square. Police immediately cordoned off the area, as several suspect objects were reportedly found at the scene.Police now claim to have the situation under control. Previous reports had also stated that a second suspect has been detained, while the Belgian public broadcaster reports a third assailant is still at large. Police have urged people to stay home or seek shelter in shops or public buildings. Radio Television Belge Francophone says all buses have been asked to leave the city center. Many shops in the surrounding area have been shut down, leaving customers stranded inside, the Associated Press reports. Police helicopters are currently circling the city, as a first aid post has been set up in the courtyard of the palace of the Prince Bishops Courthouse. A museum located on the square says it has taken in many of the injured. “As we are very close and we have an open space where you can enter and leave with no problem. I can say there were injured, but don’t ask me if it’s five, seven, eight or nine. I don’t know,” said Archeoforum director Jean-Jacques Messiaen, Reuters cites him as saying.

Other unconfirmed reports claim that one of the attackers managed to flee inside the courthouse located on the square. RTL-TV1 television had previously said the gunmen threw stun grenades into the courthouse while one was thrown at a bus shelter in the area, RTE news reports. There is speculation that the attack might be connected with the country’s first “honor killing” trial, which concluded this week. On Monday, a Belgian court sentenced four members of a Pakistani family over the shooting death of 20-year-old Sadia Sheikh in October 2007. Other reports have said the attack was connected with a failed prison break from the nearby courthouse. However, no motive has been established for the attack.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Belgium Grenade, Gun Attack Kills at Least Two, Injures 64

(CNN) — A grenade and gun attack in the eastern Belgian city of Liege left at least two people dead and 64 wounded Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the governor of Liege province said. A post on the Twitter feed of the Belgian Crisis Center said “one lone individual” had opened fire and was dead. “The situation is under control at present,” the post said. Spokeswoman Katrin Delcourt of the provincial governor’s office earlier said that police were searching for at least one suspect. A source close to the government, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told CNN that a man had thrown explosives in a city center square, Place Saint Lambert. “We are not sure how many injured and dead there are,” he said. “We believe the man died in the explosion. We are also investigating the possibility of a second attacker. “There has been a meeting of the Internal Affairs department to try to gather as much information as possible.”

Liege resident Kevin Hauzeur told CNN he ducked for cover as he heard a “huge explosion and two or three gun shots.” A lot of people were in the area at the time to shop at a Christmas market, Hauzeur said. The crowd was “spinning around, crying — it was really chaotic,” he said. He said he had seen what appeared to be the body of an attacker before police cleared everyone from the area. Police told him the man had shot himself, Hauzeur said. Charles Boisoin, a Liege resident whose apartment overlooks the city center, told CNN he and his neighbors have been told they are not allowed to leave their homes. He said the city center is virtually deserted and all he can hear and see is helicopters flying overhead.

Photos purportedly from the scene, posted on Twitter by Gaspard Grosjean, showed blood on the sidewalk, as well as police officers and vehicles gathered near the scene. The Liege fire department said it was responding to an emergency but declined to give details. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Belgium Grenade Attack: Latest

At least two people have been killed and dozens wounded when up to four grenades exploded outside the main courthouse in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.

16.27 Still confusion over whether the Liege gunman committed suicide or died by accident: [Twitter] #Liege: police still inquiring if the attacker committed suicide. No confirmation still

16.09 Officials now say Amrani was on his way for police questioning when he launched the attack. Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders said the attack, in which the man lobbed three grenades and opened fire, resulted in the deaths of the gunman and three other people — a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 75-year-old woman. Seventy-five people were wounded. La Libre Belgique newspaper reported that a 2-year-old girl was clinging to life. Officials say he had more grenades with him.

16.00 Officials say Liege gunman had criminal record involving guns, drugs and sex offenses

15.59 Tributes to the dead in Liege continue to pour in on twitter: MY thoughts and prayers go out to the people Belgian city of Liege such sad news that people have loss there lives and many injured… RIP

15.51 In another shocking attack in Europe today, a far-Right lone gunman shot dead two Senegalese street vendors and seriously wounded a third in broad daylight at a market in Florence, before killing himself, according to reports:

Eyewitnesses said they saw the middle-aged man getting out of a white car and firing three shots with a handgun before driving off again, according to a report on the website of La Repubblica daily. Reports named the gunman as Gianluca Casseri, 50, who was a member of the Italian Far Right. A report by ANSA news agency quoted a newspaper seller saying he tried to block the man but was told: “Get out of the way, or I’ll bump you off next.”

15:43 Prosecutor Daniele Reynders said the gunman, Nordine Amrani, was among the four dead, along with a 15-year-old who died instantly, and a 17-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman who died later in hospital.

15:28 Ahead of the press conference, which we hope might shed some light on Amrani‘s motives, the situation is thought to be as follows: there are four dead, including the lone attacker, and about 64 injured.

15:25 Such was the mobile phone traffic in the immediate aftermath of the incident, that many of the networks crashed.

15:21 The injured have been taken to six different hospitals. At Citadelle Hospital the majority were aged between 17 and 20 years old, mostly injured by flying debris.

15:18 A Belgian Interior Ministry official, Peter Mertens, says there was only one attacker, who was killed in the incident, adding that it was not related to terrorism.

15:13 The BBC is reporting claims that the grenades were dropped from rooftops by a man in his 40s.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Nanterre: 350 Muslims Pray in Street to Ask for Legalisation of Mosque

On Thursday 9 December around 350 Muslims prayed in the street in front of the City Hall in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) to ask the mayor to legalise a place of worship that has been temporarily established near the towers of the business district of La Défense. A big tent that serves as a mosque was set up in early October by the mayor of the neighbouring town of Puteaux, on land he owns but which is located within the territory of Nanterre. “We need a building permit to be granted in order to legalise the erection of the tent and obtain heating. But Patrick Jarry [the Gauche Citoyenne mayor of Nanterre] has refused to do this,” said Hassan Ben M’Barek, head of the Front des Banlieues Indépendant (FBI), explaining the origin of the street prayers. “We are asking Mr Jarry to show some humanity and common sense instead of keeping us in the cold. And that he stops holding us hostage to political quarrels with the UMP mayor of Puteaux” (Joëlle Ceccaldi-Reynaud), stated Abdellah Mouhine, spokesperson for the Association Solidarité Islamique of Puteaux. According to an associate of Patrick Jarry, “it is the prefect of Hauts-de-Seine and not the mayor of Nanterre who has to grant planning permission”. “Patrick Jarry can only offer a consultative opinion”, he added. And this opinion has been shown to be unfavourable, with the mayor of Nanterre taking the view that the building permit the mayor of Puteaux asked for did not conform to the Local Urban Plan (PLU), in particular over the issues of parking and the appearance of the place of worship.

Le Monde, 9 December 2011


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Greece: Israeli, US Interest in Oil and Gas Projects

investigated the possibility of prospecting for oil near Crete

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DECEMBER 13 — An Israeli company has investigated the possibility of prospecting for oil or natural gas south of Crete, Kathimerini has learned, while US Ambassador Daniel Smith has confirmed the interest of American firms in drilling for hydrocarbons off the coast of Crete and in the Ionian Sea. Representatives of the Delek Group visited Greece in summer to investigate the possibility of setting up an oil rig south of Crete, Kathimerini can reveal. Unconfirmed reports suggest Delek officials returned to Greece this week. Meanwhile the US ambassador in Athens has said that several American companies have expressed an interest in exploring for mineral fuels off the Greek coastline. Citing discoveries elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Smith told Kathimerini that “there is reason to believe there are significant opportunities.” In September, the US firm Noble Energy started drilling for gas deposits off the coast of Cyprus.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italians Help Glimpse ‘God Particle’

Collider researchers home in on Higgs boson

(ANSA) — Geneva, December 13 — Two Italian physicists on Tuesday unveiled to a hushed press the first possible signs that the Holy Grail of particle physics, the Higg’s boson or God Particle, may have been glimpsed.

“We have seen evidence of the boson,” the missing link in the standard model of physics which would explain the mass of everything in the Universe, said Fabiola Gianotti and Guido Tonelli, the spokespersons for two projects called Atlas and CMS at a giant particle collider at the CERN nuclear physics lab in Geneva. Gianotti and Tonelli said they could not speak of a firm find yet but there was “a very nice region” in recent tests at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) where the fabled particle might be present.

Finding the boson would be one of the biggest scientific advances of the last 60 years.

It is key to any explanation of how the Universe works.

The Atlas and CMS experiments have been looking for the Higgs separately.

Because the Standard Model does not posit an exact mass for the boson, accelerators like the LHC have to be used to seek it across a broad search range.

Gianotti and Tonelli said they’d both seen “spikes” in data at roughly the same mass: 124-125 gigaelectronvolts (Gev).

“The excess may be due to a fluctuation but it could also be something more interesting,” said Gianotti, the Atlas spokesperson.

Tonelli, the CMS spokesperson, said: “The excess is most compatible with a Standard Model Higgs in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below, but the statistical significance is not large enough to say anything conclusive.

“As of today, what we see is consistent either with a background fluctuation or with the presence of the boson”. Experts who flocked to Tuesday’s seminar at CERN were particularly excited by the fact that the two independent projects found broadly similar results. The Higgs boson, named after British physicist Peter Higgs and nicknamed the God Particle after a big-selling book, is the only predicted elementary particle that has not yet been observed in particle physics experiments.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

LHC Sees Hint of Lightweight Higgs Boson

The ultra-shy Higgs boson may have finally shown itself at the LHC. Both of the main detectors, ATLAS and CMS, have uncovered hints of a lightweight Higgs. If it pans out, the only remaining hole in the standard model would be filled. Even more exciting, a Higgs of this mass, about 125 gigaelectronvolts, would also blast a path to uncharted terrain. Such a featherweight would need at least one new type of particle to stabilise it. “It’s very exciting,” says CMS spokesman Guido Tonelli. “This could be the first ring in a chain of discoveries.”

As the leading theory for how particles and forces interact, the standard model has been spectacularly successful since it was proposed in the 1960s. But it works only on the assumption that the Higgs boson actually exists. The particle is the calling card of an unseen entity called the Higgs field, which is thought to give all particles their mass. The trouble is the standard model cannot predict what the Higgs itself weighs.

So physicists have been hunting for the simplest version of the Higgs at various particle colliders for years. Experiments have steadily ruled it out at a range of masses, except for a narrow window between 115 and 141 GeV. Now physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva in Switzerland, have probed that range in more detail than ever before. Today, Tonelli and Fabiola Gianotti, head of the ATLAS detector, separately presented results from more than 300 trillion high-speed particle collisions made in the last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Lone Gunman Kills One, Wounds 64 in Belgian City Attack

Liege — A lone gunman opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the eastern Belgian city of Liege Tuesday, killing three people before turning the gun on himself.

More than 60 people were also wounded in the lunch-hour attack, public prosecutor Daniel Reynders said, adding that the gunman was among the two dead. The country’s federal crisis centre said it was neither a terrorist incident nor linked to a pending criminal trial.

“It was a lone gunman,” the centre’s Benoit Ramacker told AFP.

“It’s very difficult to determine the reasons for the attack, but we’re investigating all avenues.”Belgium’s Home Affairs Minister Joelle Milquet broke off European Union talks and was headed for Liege after the attack, as was newly-named Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

The attack sent terrified residents running for their lives, and hours later groups of people sat weeping on sidewalks across the windy city amid the screech of ambulance sirens and the roar of helicopters hovering overhead.

The shooting took place around noon on Saint-Lambert square, home to the courthouse and located near a busy Christmas market in the town of 196,000 people.

Some reports said it was a foiled bid to rescue a suspect from the courthouse but judicial sources named the lone wolf as Nordine Amrani, who was known to police.

The sources said police had raided his Liege home recently seeking cannabis plants but had found arms instead. In 2008 he was senteced to almost five years behind bars for illegal possession of arms and growing cannabis.

There was much initial confusion over the events, with initial reports of more than one gunman.

“We heard two huge deafening noises and then lots of explosions, people were running everywhere,” a baker named only as Patricia said on RTL-TV. “We closed the door, turned off the lights and hid behind the counter with the customers.”

Journalist Nicolas Gilenne told AFP he had just left the courthouse where he was covering a trial when the attack began.

“I saw a man wave his arm and throw something at the bus shelter. I heard an explosion. He turned around, picked something else up, pulled the pin. I started to run. He was alone and seemed very much in control.

“He wanted to hurt as many people as possible. I heard four explosions and shots during about 10 seconds.” Residents earlier told local television that shots were fired across the square by gunmen posted on the rooftop of a bakery shop and grenades hurled at bus shelters and into the courthouse.

Reports had also said that two to three gunmen armed with either explosive flash grenades or killer defensive grenades were involved.

“The city centre is completely cordonned off. People are sheltering in shops or in buildings. Police are in position,” said a town hall employee contacted by AFP who asked not to be identified.

“Luckily the mayor had postponed the opening of the Christmas market due to bad weather and high winds. Otherwise many more would have died,” the source added.

Belga news agency said several “suspect” objects were found on the square and that police bomb defusal experts were on the way.

[Return to headlines]

Man Shoots Christmas Shoppers in Belgium, Kills Three

LIEGE, Belgium (Reuters) — A man hurled grenades at a bus stop in the Belgian city of Liege and sprayed gunfire at a square crowded with Christmas shoppers and children on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding 123 others before fatally shooting himself in the head.

It was not clear what his motive was, but Belgian officials said there was no indication it was an act of terrorism.

Witnesses said the gunman, named as Nordine Amrani, 33, began his attack near the bus stop at Place Saint Lambert, a shopping area and the site of the Christmas market and main courthouse — sending shoppers scattering to flee the bullets.

Amrani, released from jail about a year ago after being convicted of possessing weapons illegally, ended it by shooting himself in the head with a handgun, the witnesses said.

“He had a bag. He got a grenade out of his bag. He threw the grenade at the bus stop. Then he had a Kalashnikov (rifle). He shot in all directions. Then everyone ran to try to save themselves. Then he got a revolver out and put a bullet in his head,” one witness told RTBF radio…

[Return to headlines]

Norway Butter Crisis Eased

Synnøve Finden is importing 300 tons of Belgian butter to help alleviate Norway’s shortage.

Reports suggest the first delivery was expected at 4pm in Alvdal, Thursday. There is also transport to take the butter to wholesalers Asko and Ica.

“I think it’s horrible that Norway’s biggest and, in fact, only supplier [TINE] doesn’t have control of its production,” Synnøve Finden’s press spokesperson, Harald Bjerknes tells The Foreigner.

He continues, “Having small, independent dairies to provide goods to the Norwegian market is crucial, especially when this type of situation occurs.”

The butter will be spread amongst all of Norway’s supermarket chains, is likely to be available from today or Saturday.

According to Synnøve Finden, prices are expected to be approximately 80 kroner per kilo.

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

Norwegian Peace-Researcher: Israel Behind Breivik?

The Norwegian peace-researcher Ola Tunander has committed an article that will raise eyebrows in many quarters. He links Anders Behring Breivik to Israel. The article appears in the respectable journal Nytt Nordisk Tidsskrift, at present under the editorial of Cathrine Holst.

The article is no less than scandalous, and raises questions not just about Ola Tunander, but also about Holst and her editorial board, which includes a lot of influtential people. Antisemitism has become more or less respectable in Norwegian academic circles. This article suggests that the price could be high.

From the english abstract: Inspiration, interests, initiation and investments in Breivik’s world

The terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011 were first described as an al-Qaeda operation. When Anders Behring Breivik was arrested and we were able to look at his video and read his manifesto, it became clear that he was inspired by Jewish-Christian anti-jihadist writers, the very individuals that had pointed to al-Qaeda in the first place.

Some critics argued that Breivik had been used by Israeli forces with an interest in changing Norway’s policy towards Palestine, as if Breivik had copied the Israeli bombing of the British headquarters in Jerusalem in 1946, on the very anniversary of that attack. However, inspiration and interests are not enough.

One also has to look at Breivik’s contacts that supposedly financed him and initiated him into his crusading “Knights Templar” order. Breivik himself points to Serbian crusaders, while others points to an East-European military mafia. The two converge, however, into one network that is surprisingly close to Saudi and Chechen intelligence and to the very Islamists that Breivik detests, as though Breivik’s Knights Templar were the mirror image of al-Qaeda.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Anti-Islam Group Fights Fribourg Ban

The Swiss Movement against Islamisation (MOSC) has said it will appeal a Fribourg district court decision blocking it from setting up a stand in the western town. In October 2009, a few weeks before Switzerland’s controversial vote on the banning of minarets, MOSCI asked the city of Fribourg for permission to erect a stand. The group said it wanted to present its ideas and ask citizens to vote against the Islamic spires. After conferring with cantonal police and the prefecture of Gruyère, Fribrourg decided not to grant permission. The town said it wanted to avoid incidents like those in Lausanne several weeks earlier when clashes broke out around a similar stand. MOSCI has angered many with its insistence that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was genocidal, as well as criticizing his union with Aisha, a very young girl. The organisation also considers Islam a “racist, warlike, and expansionist religion”.

Furious at Fribourg’s decision not to allow the stand, MOSCI took the issue to the district court, which last month ruled in favour of the city. But the Anti-Islam organization has vowed to put up a fight. On Monday, it announced it will appeal the decision to the Federal Court, Le Matin reported. “We were attacked in Lausanne, and then we were forbidden to have a stand at Fribourg for this reason,” said David Vaucher, president of MOSCI. “[This is like saying] that Islamist violence is right.” Christian Pfammatter, the judge who ruled against MOSCI, explained that his decision was motivated by the lack of “sensitivity” with which the group presents its ideas, and not their substance. However, Pfammatter accepted that the case dealt with “borderline” issues straddling the grey area between the prevention of hate speech and the rights of citizens to criticize religions. Lucia Dahlab, vice president of the Union of Muslim Organizations in Geneva, agreed the judge had been dealing with a borderline case. “We must defend freedom of expression, but if it leads to massacres like the one perpetrated by Anders Breivik in Norway, then there is a problem.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Brain Scans Should Not be Used in Court… For Now

Should an offender’s sentence be decided on the basis of a brain scan? A group of neuroscientists have put together a report for the Royal Society to assess this issue and other ways that progress in brain science might impact the law. Neuroscience is already making waves in court: an Italian woman convicted of murder recently had her sentence reduced on the grounds that her behaviour could be explained by abnormalities in her brain and genes.

The authors on the Royal Society panel, led by Nicholas Mackintosh of the University of Cambridge, also flag up research that suggests the brains of psychopaths are fundamentally different. This raises the question: should individuals with the brain anatomy of a psychopath have their sentence reduced on the ground of diminished responsibility, or should brain scan evidence be used to keep dangerous individuals locked away?

Perhaps one day we may also be able to find neurological clues that help predict whether a criminal is likely to reoffend. The report only goes so far as to suggest that such information may be useful in conjunction with other evidence.

Another key issue is that of the age of criminal responsibility. In England, the age at which a child can be tried as an adult is ten — this is too low, say the report’s authors.

Recent research into brain development suggests that crucial brain regions — such as the prefrontal cortex, which is important in decision making and impulse control — don’t actually finish maturing until the age of around 20.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Plans Submitted for Eco-Friendly Mosques

Planning permission has been sought for what could be one of the UK’s most eco-friendly mosques, reports. Proposals for the £13 million project have been submitted to the council by Mark Barfield Architects and includes the construction of an underground car park, café, residential units and a garden with fountains. The three-storey main prayer room, which is accessed via a covered portico and atrium, is large enough to accommodate 1,000 people and replaces an overcrowded converted warehouse that is currently being used by the city’s 4,000 Muslims. Such an ambitious project will no doubt necessitate the recruitment of many skilled individuals, with construction, electrical and engineering jobs all up for grabs. Using energy-efficient lighting, rainwater recycling and heat recovery systems, the architects hope the building will deliver a far reduced carbon footprint. It will also channel natural light into the main prayer room, to be replaced by energy-efficient LCD lighting when the sun sets. According to FM World, the Muslim Academic Trust (MAT), for whom the mosque has been designed, carried out extensive public consultation with the public on the plans, in order to ensure it is secure, inclusive and “respectful of its context”. MAT chairman, Tim Walker commented on the plans: “Our hope is that this will become a landmark building that will inject new life into the Romsey area of Cambridge, a monument of which the local and wider Cambridge community can be proud.”

[JP note: They are still working on the concept of friendlypeople mosques — it could be a long wait.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Silly Me, I Didn’t Realise the Rioters Were Victims

Common sense is turned on its head as the Left finds its usual excuses for the thugs who ran riot in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Well, that didn’t take long — just four months to turn the summer rioters from the scum of the earth into victims. There we all were during those tense few days in August, glued to our TV screens as shops were looted and homes burned to the ground, misguidedly thinking that the police had lost control of the streets to a rag-tag army of opportunistic, feral criminals.

In reality, what we were witnessing was a protest by politically sophisticated, disenchanted and alienated young people driven to despair by police brutality. This, at any rate, is what we are invited to believe by a study commissioned by The Guardian, in collaboration with the London School of Economics, and published across eight pages of the newspaper yesterday under the heading “Reading the Riots”. Needless to say, the BBC ran with the story all day.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Woman Risks Jail for Wearing Full Veil in France

A 32-year-old woman, Hind Ahmas, has been sentenced 15 days of ‘citizenship service’ after she was caught wearing a full-face veil in public and refused to remove it. Hind Ahmas says she will not obey the court’s ruling and refuses to remove her veil. She risks a two-year prison sentence and a €30,000 fine, if she does not perform her citizenship service, which includes classes on French Republican values, Le Figaro reports.

Ahmas heard her sentence on the pavement in front of the courthouse in Paris because she refused to remove her veil to face the judges. Her lawyer Gilles Devers says Ahmas is going to appeal and said that the French ban on the veil was illegal, AFP reports. The judge however insists her lawyer cannot appeal her decision because it is not a fine. Ahmas had already been fined €120 in September for wearing a full-face veil in public in Meaux east of Paris.

Another woman, Kenza Drider, who was also wearing the full-face veil, was at the trial. She says she is running for the presidential election and wants to repeal France’s ban on the veil. Ahmas and her pressure group, Don’t Touch my Constitution, insist France does not respect their rights and say they want to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights to see the ban overturned.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Libya: Qatar to Rebuild Post-Gaddafi Media System

Doha to organise satellite TV and train journalists

(ANSAmed) — DOHA, DECEMBER 13 — The spokesman and vice president of the National Transitional Council (NTC) Abdulhafeedh Ghoga has chosen Qatar’s capital Doha to inaugurate the opening of a new media system in Libya. The choice was by no means a random one, since the Emirate home to Al Jazeera is now the main promoter and financier of the press in Libya. The operation, which strengthens Qatari roots in the country’s post-Gaddafi reconstruction, is at the centre of much debate. A month ago the Egyptian press agency MENA had announced that Al Jazeera’s former director Wadah Khanfar was preparing the launch of a new satellite TV channel for Libyan news funded by Qatari investors. Now, through Qatar’s economic and logistical help, Libya has a media system. “With Gaddafi there was only chaos, while now Libya has a free, open and independent media and communications system,” said Ghiga.

Jan Keulen, director of the Doha Centre for Press Freedom, led a delegation in Libya to provide financial aid to set up the technical aspect and necessary infrastructure, in addition to organising training courses for journalists. Doha’s Northwestern University instead collaborated on the drawing up of a regulatory framework for the Libyan press. “The Libyan delegation has taken an important step forward towards the drawing up of the media system to be established in the country,” said Everette Dennis, the rector of the university. In drawing up the regulatory framework of the Libyan press there will be monitoring authorities, an ethical code and the establishment of media not subject to state control. In this sense Qatar has played a fundamental role in designing what the Libyan media system will be. However, many are wondering whether the media in a democratic Libya will be freer than those of the Gulf, where dictatorial regimes hold sway. Ghoga laughed in an embarrassed manner at the question, while his colleague Salem Gnan, member of the NTC’s Press Committee, said that Libya would be a democratic system. “Our people have paid a very high price to be free, and we will never allow any dictator to come back to the country.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Turkey: Jewish Community Wants Protection in New Constitution

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 13 — One of Turkey’s most prominent Jewish groups, the Quincentennial Foundation, has called for provisions against racism and anti-Semitism in the new charter at a meeting yesterday with members of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission. According to Hurriyet Daily, foundation Chairman Naim Guleryuz said Jewish people in Turkey did not see themselves as “minorities” and wanted to be included in the future constitution as equal citizens of Turkey.

The main emphasis of their presentation was on a “liberal and inclusive” constitution that does not marginalize anyone.

The main concern of the Quincentennial Foundation was “racism and anti-Semitism,” Gueryuz reportedly said, and Jewish people did not intend to open a debate into the controversial 1942 wealth tax that stripped many members of Turkey’s non-Muslim communities from their fortunes. Guleryuz said the new charter should lead to amendments in the penal code article that punishes incitement of hatred on the basis of social, religious and racial differences that would ensure full protection for minorities. Hate crimes should be prosecuted directly, he said.

The Foundation, established in 1992, takes its name from the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Sephardic Jews, who were exiled from Spain and found refuge in the Ottoman Empire in 1492.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

War Games: Iran to Close Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN (Reuters) — A member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practice its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation.

The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: “Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”

Contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for the Iranian military declined to comment.

Iran’s energy minister told Al Jazeera television last month that Tehran could use oil as a political tool in the event of any future conflict over its nuclear program.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Pakistan: Chained and in Tears: Children Found in Basement as Police Raid Islamic School Thought to be a ‘Taliban Training Centre’

Forty-five students, among them young children, were discovered held in chains in a basement when police raided an Islamic seminary in Pakistan last night.

The male students, some said to be as young as 12 but appearing even younger, were found in what amounted to a dungeon at the Madrassa Zakarya in the Sohrab Goth district of Karachi.

Led barefoot from their prison, captives told officers they had suffered regular beatings and been hung upside down as a form of punishment.

Others said they had been visited by Taliban fighters and that 10 of their fellow students had disappeared in recent months.

One boy said that visiting Taliban members had told them to ‘prepare for battle’. Some Pakistani madrassas have long been suspected of grooming Islamic militants.

Police arrested a cleric and two others at the scene, but the madrassa’s administrator managed to escape during the raid, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported.

Local police Superintendent Rao Anwar told the paper: ‘Those recovered are aged between 12 and 50 years and are mainly of Pakhtun ethnicity.

‘A few drug addicts and mentally challenged persons were also among those who were recovered.’

‘It seems that the administration was running a sort of religious school-cum-rehabilitation-centre and were receiving considerable sums of money from parents of those kept in for that purpose.’

Sanaa TV, a local station, showed footage of the raid and the chained students, who danced and cried as police began to free them.

‘We were kept in chains and hung upside down and beaten with sticks if we didn’t comply. We were told that we would be given training to fight in Afghanistan,’ one boy said.

Another told how Taliban fighters had visited the seminary, led prayers and told them to prepare for battle.

The raid came after an anonymous tip-off to authorities. Police official Mukhtiar Khaskheli told Agence France-Presse that a full investigation would probe any possible links with militants.

‘The madrassa officials claim that they had chained those students because they were drug addicts and they wanted to rehabilitate them and make them better Muslims,’ he added.

According to the Press Trust of India, most of the captive students had been brought to Karachi from remote parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province, a hotbed of Taliban activities.

‘What we have learnt is that the parents used to pay the seminary for the education of their children who were sent to Karachi to get religious education,’ a police official told the agency.

Pakistani government records seen by AFP suggest there are 15,148 seminaries in Pakistan, with more than two million students.

But officials suspect many more unregistered schools exist, providing the children of Pakistan’s poverty-stricken majority with the only education they can afford.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Far East

China’s Ten-Year WTO Membership Overshadowed

Beijing celebrates the tenth anniversary of its entry in the World Trade Organisation, a period of extraordinary growth for its economy. However, behind the smiles, problems lurk, ranging from an undervalued yuan to unfair trading practices. A US ambassador goes further, attacking Beijing for using “intimidation as a trade tool”.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — China is marking the tenth anniversary of its entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) amid bright spots and dark shadows. On 11 December 2001, the People’s Republic was admitted in the organisation following a series of market reforms and overtures, an impressive record for a socialist state. Now it has become the world’s second largest economy.

However, if the 15 years it took Beijing to prepare this step are seen as impressive by historians and analysts around the world, the Asian giant has maintained its economic supremacy with instruments that range from currency undervaluation to bullying in trade relations.

Trade in goods such as clothing, electronics, toys and appliances soared to almost US$ 3 trillion last year from US $ 510 billion in 2001. China’s textile exports amounted to US$ 77 billion in 2010. Foreign financing in China has climbed to more than US$ 700 billion in the last decade.

However, these results have led to resentment. Both the United States and the European Union are involved in a number of trade disputes with China at the WTO. The 27-nation EU has imposes anti-dumping duties on almost 60 products from China whilst the US has lodged 12 complaints.

There is also a “perception among WTO members that Chinese government authorities at times use intimidation as a trade tool,” US Ambassador Michael Punke said. “China seems to be embracing state capitalism more strongly each year, rather than continuing to move toward the economic reform goals that originally drove its pursuit of WTO membership,” he added. In China, the statement was met with strong criticism with observers asking for evidence to back the claim.

China’s currency policy is another source of disagreement. Beijing is accused of keeping the value of the yuan low to cut prices and boost exports. This is a major irritant for Washington. In fact, China’s trade surplus with the US has helped the country accumulate a record US$ 3.2 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves

In China, the economy’s growth is also raising questions. After a scholar revealed the underlying weaknesses of the economy, President Hu Jintao tried to reassure the population.

“We will strengthen economic cooperation with countries that have substantial trade deficits with China, and work together with them to gradually resolve trade imbalances,” Hu said in a speech marking the tenth anniversary of China’s entry into the WTO.

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


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Illegal Immigration ‘A National Calamity’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the infiltration of the migrants into Israel is a “national calamity in all fields — the economy, state security,” Israel Radio reports. Saying that Israel has no obligation to advance illegal immigration into its borders, he explained that “if we do not act to stop the flood, we’ll be washed away with it.” Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he will travel to Africa in an attempt to coordinate with state leaders the return of illegal African immigrants in Israel to their native countries.

Netanyahu’s trip comes as his Cabinet approves a $160 million program designed to stanch the flow of illegal African migrants into Israel. The plan calls for speeding up construction to complete within the coming year a border fence with Egypt. The fence is also meant to keep out Islamist militants. The new program allows for a monetary fine for the employing of illegal immigrants and, in some cases, the closing of offending businesses.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

UK: The Teenage Politics of the British Churches Are Summed Up by Their Pathetic Christmas Poster

The Baby Jesus will not be visited by Three Wise Men bearing gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh this Christmas. Three different sorts of guys will turn up at the manger, bringing the young Son of God a Fabergé egg, a Swarovski crystal perfume bottle and a Damien Hirst skull. All this is on the seasonal advertising poster issued by the British Churches.

There are no shepherds either. These are replaced by a cycle courier and a plasterer. As King Herod himself might have said: “Gee, it’s so relevant and accessible it fair sets your teeth on edge.”

Jesus famously commanded us: “Take no thought for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Why take ye thought for raiment?”

The British churches know better than Jesus. Their poster shows the characters at the Nativity in all the latest designer wear. Joseph wears a jacket by John Varvatos, a shirt by Uniglo, jeans by Topman, socks by Pantharella and shoes by Church’s. The Blessed Virgin Mary is togged out in a dress by Zara, shoes by Donna Karan and a cuff by Lara.

Cost a few bob that lot, eh? As they gathered that plush lot round the manger, I guess the British churches must have forgotten what Our Lady sang in the Magnificat: “The rich he hath sent empty away.”

Even the crib is by the designer Lyndsay Milne McLeod. No doubt all this clodhopping heavy glitziness will be described as “ironic” and “prophetic”. Well, I suppose we should all just enjoy a good giggle at the churches’ latest expedition into the land of idiocy. Except for one thing which troubles me deeply. The replacement Wise Men are cast as three successful entrepreneurs. And I worry as to how the church hierarchy will answer for this sign of conspicuous consumption and the virtues of capitalism when they next go to talk adolescent politics with their mates in the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Robert Pinkerton said...

E. Michael Jones has an article in the September 2011 Culture Wars also putting forward the idea that Anders Behring Breivik was a Mossad false-flag operation, wherein Breivik himself was a patsy.