Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120115

»Jon M. Huntsman Jr. Says He is Quitting G.O.P. Race
»What if Humans Were Twice as Intelligent?
Europe and the EU
»Anti-White Assault-Robbery — African Gang in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
»Brussels: Muslim Majority by 2030
»Germany: Five Siblings Suspected of Killing Kurdish Woman
»UK Faces EU Re-Negotiation Over Scottish Independence Fight
»UK: Driver Gets £110 ($168) Parking Fine as He Helps Give First Aid to Motorbike Crash Victim
»UK: Sandra is Kicked Off Her Course After Race Comments
North Africa
»Out of Options in Egypt
Middle East
»Any Conflict on Iran is a Direct Threat to Russia’s Security — Rogozin
»Keeping the Straits of Hormuz Open: New Weapons System to Counter Swarm Attacks
»Failed Russian Mars Probe Crashes Into Pacific Ocean: Reports
Sub-Saharan Africa
»South Africa: Two Held for Suspected Muti-Murder
»France Expels Record Number of Illegal Immigrants
»Tunisian Asylum Seekers Terrorise Swiss Town
Culture Wars
»EU Threatens to Withhold Financial Support From Hungary Over Definition of Marriage: Report
»Socialist Political Party in the Spanish City of Merida Has Asked the Government to Prohibit a Pro-Life Play
»Why Gay Parents May be the Best Parents


Jon M. Huntsman Jr. Says He is Quitting G.O.P. Race

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.

Mr. Huntsman, who had struggled to live up to the soaring expectations of his candidacy, made plans to make an announcement as early as Monday. He had been set to participate in an evening debate in Myrtle Beach.

[Return to headlines]

What if Humans Were Twice as Intelligent?

You might someday be much, much smarter than you are now. That’s the hope of neuroscientists focused on understanding the basis of intelligence. They have discovered that the brains of people with high IQs tend to be highly integrated, with neural paths connecting distant brain regions, while less intelligent people’s brains build simpler, shorter routes. But no one knows why some brains construct much longer-range connections than others.

“When the brain mechanisms that underlie intelligence are understood, it is theoretically possible that those mechanisms can be tweaked to increase IQ,” said Richard Haier, a neuroscientist and professor emeritus at the University of California, Irvine, who studies intelligence. For the first time in human history, he said, “the concept that intelligence can be increased is reasonable.”

It’s a titillating thought but, considering the aphorism “ignorance is bliss,” one might wonder: Would it really be better to be brainier? What would life and society be like if we all suddenly became, say, twice as intelligent?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Anti-White Assault-Robbery — African Gang in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Public asked to help catch four youngsters seen violently assaulting a passenger on a Luxembourg train

Police have posted footage from a train surveillance camera showing a group of youngsters savagely attack a lone passenger. The horrific incident took place on December 14th 2011 between 22:15h and 23:00h on a train between Luxembourg City and Rodange.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Brussels: Muslim Majority by 2030

On 13 November 2010, the association “La Pensée et les Hommes” organised at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) the conference entitled “A Muslim majority in Brussels in 2030: how best to prepare the ‘vivre ensemble’“?.


“The demographic explosion expected in Brussels in the next 10-20 years (note: + 170,000 residents by 2018) is a subject of preoccupation, not to say panic, explained Chemsi Cheref-Khan at the time, administrator of “La Pensée et les Hommes”. Although there was unanimity in underlining the urgency and the scope of the measure to be taken to cope with the new requirements in schools, nurseries and skills training, etc., there is also a strange conspiracy of silence with regards to the question of knowing who the new residents of the capital will be.”

For Cheref-Khan, indeed, “very few specialists emphasise the fact that the great majority of the demographic growth in Brussels comes from residents of Muslim faith or culture”.. In the end, this poses questions of “vivre ensemble”.

Source: La Libre Via:

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Germany: Five Siblings Suspected of Killing Kurdish Woman

Police in northern Germany think they have found the body of an 18-year-old Kurdish woman who had gone missing in November. The police suspect that the woman’s family abducted her because they disapproved of her relationship.

The young woman, whose body was found in scrubland by the employee of a nearby golf course, had been the victim of a violent assault.

Arzu Ö. had been missing since November of last year and police had already suspected that her five siblings forcibly abducted from her boyfriend’s apartment and possibly killed her. Her four brothers and a sister have been held in custody for months, but refuse to cooperate with the authorities.

Her family, who are of the Yazidi faith, disapproved of her relationship with a young apprentice baker because he was from another faith. German police had recently asked authorities in Turkey, where her family originally come from, for assistance in finding her.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK Faces EU Re-Negotiation Over Scottish Independence Fight

(BRUSSELS) — Britain would have to re-negotiate its EU membership if Scotland voted for independence, senior EU sources told AFP as Scotland and England fight a high-stakes referendum battle. The possible break-up of the United Kingdom made international headlines this week when Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and British Prime Minister David Cameron clashed on a vote now set for 2014.

Issues include whether Scotland would have to “exit and re-apply” for European Union membership, raising questions about whether it would then have to adopt the crisis-hit euro, unlike London. But lawyers for the EU said an independent Scotland could be treated as one of two successor states, and that a separate seat for Edinburgh would require only a majority vote among member states.

At the European Council, where leaders stage decisive summits, a deal could be “done by the Council, using qualified majority voting and with the required say-so of the European Parliament,” said one of those lawyers. Cameron last month opted out of a re-negotiation of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on which this guidance is based.

Standard procedure for external accession candidates such as Croatia, which enters in 2013, involves the unanimous backing of all EU governments. There is no doubt within the EU, however, that if Salmond secures a ‘yes’ vote, complex three-way negotiations between London, Edinburgh and Brussels will be triggered — altering Britain’s voting clout and financial relations with the EU.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Driver Gets £110 ($168) Parking Fine as He Helps Give First Aid to Motorbike Crash Victim

A driver was given a £110 ($168) parking ticket as he battled to save the life of a motorcyclist who had crashed.

Anthony Mottram, 51, found the biker unconscious in the middle of the road at a busy junction. He was bleeding and appeared to have a broken ankle.

As Mr Mottram gave the victim first-aid, traffic wardens put a ticket on his Peugeot 806, which was parked on the pavement 20ft away.

Mr Mottram said: ‘I thought the man was going to die and my priority was to save his life. I cannot believe traffic wardens ignored what was happening in the road next to him and chose instead to book me.’

The accident happened last Tuesday night near Mr Mottram’s home in Wandsworth, South-West London. To avoid blocking the road he parked on the pavement.

He said: ‘I saw the rider trapped beneath the motorbike, unconscious and in desperate need of assistance. I rushed to assist him.’

Two ambulances arrived at the scene and the victim, in his 50s, was taken to the major trauma unit at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London.

He had recovered consciousness at the scene but his condition now is not known.

Mr Mottram, a prison officer and father of four, said: ‘As soon as it became apparent my assistance was no longer required, I left the scene and returned to my vehicle to find two traffic wardens taking photographs and issuing a parking ticket.

‘I asked them to stop and explained I’d been helping to keep the injured man alive following the accident.

‘They were offhand with me until a policeman came over and explained that I had been helping. They then apologised and said the ticket had already been issued and I should call the council the next morning and they would cancel it.

‘My vehicle was parked out of the way of other traffic using the junction and in the circumstances it was the safest and most reasonable thing I could do given I was first on the scene of the accident.’

He added: ‘There was no way that the wardens could not have noticed the crash. There was an ambulance and police car with flashing lights parked next to mine. It was obvious I was something to do with it as my doors were unlocked and my windows were wound down.’

He contacted Wandsworth Council to cancel the ticket immediately but officials said his appeal would be considered and they would make a decision on February 8. However, after being contacted by The Mail on Sunday on Friday, the council cancelled the ticket.

A spokesman said: ‘It would be totally wrong if this Good Samaritan was penalised in any way for what was clearly a highly commendable act of public- spiritedness.’

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

UK: Sandra is Kicked Off Her Course After Race Comments

A VOLUNTEER was kicked off a training course for using racially-sensitive language.

Sandra Plitt, 59, of Alport Avenue, Colchester, has apologised for using the terms “coloured boy” and “built-in suntan” when referring to black men.

Mrs Plitt apologised for making the comments and causing offence while training to be a volunteer on a youth offender panel.

Mrs Plitt said: “I was not thinking. My black stepfather brought me up and I have a black brother. I have never been called a racist before and I am absolutely not racist.

“I am very sorry if I upset other people and, when they called me, it went right to my gut. I want to apologise, but I don’t feel like I should have been treated like this.

“In the Sixties when I was a teenager, you were told to say coloured and not black.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Out of Options in Egypt

Given democracy the Palestinian Arabs chose Hamas. Given democracy the Tunisians chose the Islamist Ennahda thugs. Given democracy the Egyptians chose the Salafists and the Brotherhood

Back during the early days of the Tahrir Square protests I wrote, “59 percent of Egyptian Muslims want democracy and 95 percent want Islam to play a large part in politics. 84 percent believe apostates should face the death penalty. That is what Egyptian democracy will look like. A unanimous majority that wants an Islamic state and a bare majority that wants democracy. Which one do you think will win out? A democratic majority of the country supports murdering people in the name of Islam. Mubarak’s government does not execute apostates or adulterers. But a democratic Egypt will. Why? Because it’s the will of the people.”

Here we are almost a year later and we have gotten the democratic Egypt that anyone who understood the realities of the region should have expected. An Egyptian parliament divided between the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a country divided between the Islamists who want to chop off heads now and the Islamists who think that it’s wiser to consolidate their power before chopping off heads.

The purpose of this article is not to berate the leftists and leftover neo-conservatives who supported the overthrow of Mubarak in the name of democracy. It’s a waste of breath and time. Ideologues who are committed to an ideology that explains the world in a way that seems moral and right do not stop what they are doing just because the consequences are disastrous.

Now they want us to intervene in Syria. Who else wants us to intervene in Syria? The Emir of Qatar, better known as the man behind Al Jazeera, which pushed the whole Arab Spring lie into an international myth to overthrow non-Islamist regimes across the region. The Emir is tipping his hand a little transparently by calling for troops to invade Syria instead of sitting back and letting his Al-Jazeera propagandists do the hard work of selling the West on an independent democracy movement, but the pro-democracy crowd isn’t paying attention.

[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Any Conflict on Iran is a Direct Threat to Russia’s Security — Rogozin

“Iran is our close neighbor, just south of the Caucasus. Should anything happen to Iran, should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security,” stressed Rogozin. Dmitry Rogozin, who served as Russia’s special envoy to NATO in 2008-2011, was appointed deputy prime minister by Vladimir Putin

As for Syria, if NATO persists in interfering in its affairs, a catastrophe will be hard to avoid, said Rogozin, talking to journalists on the premises of the Russian mission to the alliance.

“The example of Libya should have cooled everybody down in matters dealing with foreign civil wars,” he said, stressing that this is his personal point of view.

“Syria must be left alone and the sides to the conflict must be assisted in breaking the stand-off and starting negotiations. No one must interfere with Syria. This is dangerous,” added Rogozin.

The West’s attempts to improve democracy in the Middle East and North Africa have resulted in Islamists coming to power. It is now up to the West to decide how comfortable they feel with neighbors who determine their politics with Sharia law, says Rogozin.

“If we add the escalating tensions around Iran to the situation in Syria and the consequences of the Libyan war, then the upcoming ‘scorching’ Arab Summer, which is following the Arab Spring, will hardly be to anyone’s taste.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Keeping the Straits of Hormuz Open: New Weapons System to Counter Swarm Attacks

Juliet Marine Systems, Inc., (JMS), a privately funded company, today announced plans to select a weapons integrator for its revolutionary new product, GHOST. GHOST is a high-speed attack craft specifically designed to protect vital waterways like the Straits of Hormuz and to counter threats such as piracy, which is increasing in many areas of the world. GHOST has been compared to an attack helicopter on the water. It uses supercavitation technology and high-performance jet engines to achieve hull friction reduction and high speed. Its large fuel capacity allows for long duration missions and its heavy weapons payload capacity ensures it can be weaponized to meet any threat.

JMS continues to focus on fleet security and has been studying the problem of how to counter swarm attacks for several years. Research indicates future conflicts will happen in strategic littoral waters, requiring naval forces to operate close to shore. Most navies operating in these regions have deployed large ships that are not weaponized or agile enough to protect against swarms of high-speed boats. The GHOST’s unique combination of speed, maneuverability, endurance and payload provide the key ingredients for an outer layer of fleet defense that would engage potential swarming adversaries before they reach their effective attack range.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Failed Russian Mars Probe Crashes Into Pacific Ocean: Reports

A failed Russian Mars probe came crashing back to Earth Sunday (Jan. 15) in a death plunge over the Pacific Ocean, according to Russian news reports.

After languishing in Earth orbit for more than two months, the 14.5-ton Phobos-Grunt spacecraft fell at around 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 GMT) Sunday, apparently slamming into the atmosphere over a stretch of the southern Pacific off the coast of Chile, Russian officials told the Ria Novosti news agency.

“Phobos-Grunt fragments have crashed down in the Pacific Ocean,” Alexei Zolotukhin, an official with Russia’s Defense Ministry, was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying. Zolotukhin said that the spacecraft crashed about 776 miles (1,250 kilometers) west of the island of Wellington, the news agency reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: Two Held for Suspected Muti-Murder

A traditional healer and his patient have been arrested for the murder of a man whose mutilated body was found in his house in Freedom Park near Soweto, Gauteng police said on Friday

“The nose was cut off and one eye was missing from the body,” Tsinyane said.

“The motive for the murder is still not clear, but community members suspected it to be muti-related.”

Tsinyane said the healer, 39, and his patient, 21, were the last people to be seen with the murdered man.

They were expected to face murder charges in the Protea Magistrate’s Court soon

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


France Expels Record Number of Illegal Immigrants

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government has made a play for the anti-immigrant voters who may determine whether he wins a second term, saying Tuesday that France had booted out more illegal migrants in the past year than ever before.

Sarkozy’s interior minister added that he wants thousands more expelled this year, along with fewer foreigners legally living in France. Anyone who wants to stay, he added, must shed the traditions that contradict French values.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant lauded the government’s record, saying French authorities expelled 32,912 illegal immigrants in 2011, up 17.5 percent from 2010.

“This result is 5,000 higher than the initial objective decided upon at the start of the year. It is the highest result ever achieved,” he said. The government wants the figure to rise to 35,000 this year, he added.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Tunisian Asylum Seekers Terrorise Swiss Town

It’s been one year since the Tunisian revolution. But Europeans are still suffering from its fruits.

There are only a few of them. [a tiny minority?] But they’re making life difficult for the inhabitants of Chiasso. Chiasso already asked the federal government for help months ago. Tunisian asylum seekers steal, fight, drink on the streets.

…”Since the summer we have had 30 per cent more call-outs. There were 400 incidents involving asylum seekers. Half of them were violent acts,~” says Nicolas Poncini (50), the local police chief. “They no longer just fight among themselves, they also attack the population. They are extremely aggressive. Among themselves too. We have also seen very bloody self-wounds.”

…”I’m afraid that the confrontation between the asylum seekers and the population is getting out of control,” says the local police chief. “In the last few days things have been getting really wild here,” says the director of the reception centre, Antonio Simona (59). The North Africans come home drunk; they fight with the staff. “On Tuesday we had to get the police. Suddenly there were six, seven North Africans standing in front of us and they wanted to attack the officials.”

“It’s only a small group that’s taking us to our limits. Very young men with lots of energy and without employment. They drink, become aggressive,” continues Simona. “I’ve been in the centre since 1998, have seen people from all possible countries come and go, but I have never seen people who disturb the public peace like these Tunisians.”


           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

EU Threatens to Withhold Financial Support From Hungary Over Definition of Marriage: Report

BUDAPEST, January 12, 2012 ( — European Union officials are making their disapproval of Hungary’s recent constitutional changes felt by threatening to withhold financial support if it does not remove its new amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to one Hungarian source.

The so-called “Easter constitution” adopted in the post-Communist country last May was a major shakeup for Hungarian politics and an outrage to progressive EU ideology: the document not only supported marriage but declared that the unborn child deserves protection from the moment of conception, and even made special mention of Christianity as lying at the heart of the country’s identity. The document’s discussion of human rights also does not mention sexual orientation, another break from EU priorities.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Socialist Political Party in the Spanish City of Merida Has Asked the Government to Prohibit a Pro-Life Play

“Vidiana: Abortion Clinic,” tells the story of seven pregnant women who plan to have abortions, but change their minds after an eighth pregnant woman convinces them to keep their children. It is scheduled to be shown in the city government’s Alcazaba Cultural Center.

The play’s director, Isidro Leyva, notes that it is “very descriptive, with difficult moments in which it is explained, for example, how abortions are done.”

Representatives of Merdia’s United Left want the government to remove the play from its municipal theater, claiming that it constitutes a “stigmatization of the women who find themselves obligated to carry out this kind of intervention (abortion), which results in the deterioration in the social image of women who submit to an absolutely legal procedure.”

They also complain that the hosting of the work by the city constitutes “the establishment of a series of moral judgments that do not at all correspond to public administration.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Why Gay Parents May be the Best Parents

Gay marriage, and especially gay parenting, has been in the cross hairs in recent days. On Jan. 6, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told a New Hampshire audience that children are better off with a father in prison than being raised in a home with lesbian parents and no father at all. And last Monday (Jan. 9), Pope Benedict called gay marriage a threat “to the future of humanity itself,” citing the need for children to have heterosexual homes.

But research on families headed by gays and lesbians doesn’t back up these dire assertions. In fact, in some ways, gay parents may bring talents to the table that straight parents don’t. Gay parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents,” said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]