Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120403

Financial Crisis
»Bankruptcies Have German Solar on the Ropes
»EU-IMF Experts Praise Portugal, Warn of Risks From Recession
»Fed Buying 61 Percent of US Debt
»Labour: Jobs in Middle East Booming, +47% in Saudi Arabia
»Spain: Government, Public Debt to Approach 80% GDP in 2012
»Spanish Unemployment Hits Record High in March
»Swiss Take Fall as US and UK ‘Havens’ Thrive: Report
»Glenn Beck to Publish Blockbuster on Obama’s Communist Mentor
»It’s Not Road Rage, It’s Terrorism
»Obama Imposes Martial Law
»Scrubbing Space Exploration Saved $3 Billion a Year, A Mere Rounding Error
»Sharpton Lands in Jail in Vieques
»Terry Jones Files Federal Suit Against Dearborn Over Free Speech Issues
Europe and the EU
»France: Torture Instrument Sale Suspended After Protests
»France Expels Five Islamist Radicals
»France: The Liberal Jewish Eunuch
»French Islamist Suspects ‘Meant to Kidnap Jewish Judge’
»Greece: After Robberies, Museum Guards Get Police Training
»Norway: Islamists and Far Right on Breivik Witness List
»Norway: Krekar, ‘Fjordman’ Called to Testify
»Stolen Tax CD Case: Germany Outraged Over Swiss Arrest Warrants
»Sweden: Teens’ Savage Attack ‘May Have Been Filmed’
»UK: Terrified Pedestrians Scatter as Deranged Driver Tries to ‘Bowl Them Over Like Skittles’ Following a ‘Respect Row’
Mediterranean Union
»Research and Innovation, Towards New Partnership
Israel and the Palestinians
»Books: Kibbutz Experiment Infantile and Cruel, Amos Oz
»Hebron, Army’s Ultimatum to Settlers, Netanyahu Steps in
»Obama’s Got Israel’s Back: That’s Where the Knife Goes
»See Why Israel Doesn’t Trust Obama?
Middle East
»Non-Muslims Not Allowed to Buy Property on Turkish Island
»Two Blazes in Moscow, 17 Killed
South Asia
»German Military Fears for Afghanistan’s Future
»Mumbai Attack: US Announces $10 Mn Bounty on Lashkar-E-Taiba Founder Hafiz Saeed
»The Logistical Nightmare of Leaving Afghanistan
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Power Elite and the Muslim Brotherhood, Part 11
»Greece Eyes Illegal-Immigrant Detention Measure
»Tragedy South of Lampedusa, 10 Dead at Sea

Financial Crisis

Bankruptcies Have German Solar on the Ropes

The German solar industry is at a turning point. The bankruptcy of Q-Cells this week shows that the days of German solar cell production are numbered. Asian competitors took the lead years ago, and German government subsidies were part of the problem.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU-IMF Experts Praise Portugal, Warn of Risks From Recession

(LISBON) — Portugal is meeting debt-rescue targets and could be strong enough to borrow on financial markets next year but is in a deeper recession than thought, EU and IMF auditors said on Tuesday.

The economy is now set to shrink by 3.25 percent this year, they said, pointing to a worse recession than expected so far with contraction forecast to be 3.0 percent.

There is a resurgence of concern on financial markets that Portugal is near a danger zone of possibly needing a second round of rescue help from the EU and IMF, and that Spain is also at risk of needing help.

But the creditors commended the Portuguese government for having cut the budget deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP, sharper than a 5.9 percent target.

Portugal still faces risks, the experts from the European Union, The European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, warned.

Portugal last year became the third eurozone country after Greece and Ireland to be bailed out, receiving an EU-IMF package worth up to 78 billion euros in return for a commitment to reform its economy and impose austerity measures.

Since the beginning of the year and particularly in the last month, tensions over the eurozone debt crisis have eased, largely because of progress by the eurozone in increasing emergency funding if further bailouts are needed.

“Overall, the programme is on track. But important risks and challenges remain,” the European Commission said in a report based on the latest assessments of Portugal by the troika, conducted in late February.

The report said: “Noticeable progress has been made in the area of structural reforms. The far-reaching and ambitious reform agenda is on track in the areas of labour market, health care, housing, judiciary and the insolvency and regulatory framework including competition. Also, privatisations so far have been highly successful.”

The auditors said that economic conditions in Portugal had worsened markedly towards the end of last year and that there was concern about a weakening of the external trade balance.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Fed Buying 61 Percent of US Debt

The Federal Reserve is propping up the entire U.S. economy by buying 61 percent of the government debt issued by the Treasury Department, a trend that cannot last, Lawrence Goodman, a former Treasury official and current president of the Center for Financial Stability, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion article published Wednesday.

“Last year the Fed purchased a stunning 61 percent of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis,” Goodman writes.

Goodman also warns that U.S. economy and markets are “at risk for a sharp correction” if conditions aren’t “normalized.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Labour: Jobs in Middle East Booming, +47% in Saudi Arabia

Education and healthcare most dynamic sectors, report

(ANSAmed) — DOHA — Amid a global economic crisis, many Middle Eastern countries stand out for their dynamism, at least as concerns work: over the past year jobs in the region increased by 14% according to the figures provided by the Monster Employment Index on the basis of February 2012. With the Arab Spring many Arab countries decided to invest in job creation in order to ensure social peace. The top place goes to Saudi Arabia, with a 37% increase, followed by Egypt with +31%. Also doing well was Kuwait, where jobs increased by 12%. The opposite was seen in Oman (-18%), in the United Arab Emirates (-13%), Qatar (-12%) and Bahrain (-6%). The most dynamic sectors, according to the report, are education, with a 47% increase in jobs, healthcare (+33%), the financial and banking sector (+28%) and media and communications (+26%). Paradoxically, job opportunities are in decline in the oil sector, which saw a 21% drop in the Middle East despite the oil and gas giants being concentrated in the region. The hotel sector also saw a drop in jobs (-6%).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain: Government, Public Debt to Approach 80% GDP in 2012

It currently stands at 68,5%

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — The Spanish government expects public debt to rise by about 10% over the course of this year, reaching almost 80% of GDP, compared to the current figure of 68.5%, according to Spain’s Finance Minister. The Wall Street Journal’s interview with Luis de Guindos, which is published tomorrow, has been quoted by the EFE agency. The increase in public sector debt is partly due to the need to finance deficit, the minister says, and the result of government support through syndicated loan guarantees to local governments, who own around 35 billion euros. De Guindos made it clear that the increase in public debt will not require a significant increase in the classification of sovereign debt, a figure that is binding thanks to loans from a number of government schemes. Spain has started out on a difficult road to economic reform, but measures should restore the country to growth in 2013, according to the Minister. The government predicts that anti-deficit measures will lead the economy to a decrease of 1.7% this year, a forecast that De Guindos calls “cautious and conservative”, but will bring about “lightly positive growth” for next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spanish Unemployment Hits Record High in March

Spain’s number of jobless people has risen for the eighth consecutive month with companies across the nation laying off staff. Madrid’s 2012 austerity budget may further worsen the situation in the short-term.

The number of job seekers in Spain jumped to an all-time high in March, the National Statistics Institute announced on Tuesday. Unemployment rose for the eighth straight month to reach 4.75 million people.

That meant a 0.82-percent increase from February of this year and a 9.63-percent rise year-on-year.

“We continue to face an unsatisfactory situation of an increase in the number of jobless people,” Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, said in an official release.

He added it is important to create confidence and flexibility for companies. In February, the Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy passed a new labor reform which made it easier and cheaper for firms to hire and fire people as well as cut wages unilaterally.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Swiss Take Fall as US and UK ‘Havens’ Thrive: Report

Despite the recurrent finger-pointing aimed at Switzerland for providing a haven to tax dodgers, the Tax Justice Network has found that the US and the UK hold over 50 percent of the global offshore market.

Switzerland has been the big loser in the war on tax havens, the newspaper Tribune de Genève reports.

According to the Tax Justice Network, a British organisation made up of accountants, lawyers, academics and others, for all the criticism and worldwide attention, Switzerland is only responsible for about 6 percent of the offshore trade.

“When you read the statement which followed the G20 in April 2009, we find that the emphasis is made on banking secrecy, a Swiss concept, while trusts, a typically Anglo-Saxon legal tool, are forgotten,” Nicholas Shaxson, writer and researcher for the Tax Justice Network, said.

Shaxson is a British author best known for his investigative books, Poisoned Wells (2007) and Treasure Islands (2011), the latter of which is an investigation into the harmful effects of tax avoidance.

Having completed his research, Shaxson now believes that the US and the UK are the biggest tax havens in the world.

According to his survey, the US is responsible for approximately 21 percent of offshore business, while the UK is responsible for about 20 percent. A further 10 percent derives from trade carried out through Britain’s dependent territories, such as the Cayman Islands, and crown dependencies Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Glenn Beck to Publish Blockbuster on Obama’s Communist Mentor

Seizing on the scandal involving President Obama’s “open mic” obsequious conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Glenn Beck has announced that Paul Kengor’s explosive new book on Frank Marshall Davis will be published this summer through Beck’s Mercury Ink outlet. Davis was a pro-Moscow communist who helped raise and mentor Obama.

Davis, Beck says, is the key to understanding Obama’s pro-Russian foreign policy.

The new Kengor book carries the title, THE COMMUNIST Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor. Mercury Ink, which is publishing the book, is the publishing imprint of Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., a multimedia production company owned by Beck.

In the embarrassing “open mic” incident, Obama told Medvedev that he needed some “space” from the Russians before meeting any more of their demands, and that he would have more “flexibility” after being re-elected. Medvedev promised to transmit the information to “Vladimir,” meaning Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer who is going to assume the Russian presidency for the second time on May 7. Putin has described the fall of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

It’s Not Road Rage, It’s Terrorism

And thus matters rested until a few days ago, when Baz’s confession in 2007 finally became public via a New York Post article. In it, Baz acknowledged the impact of the Goldstein atrocity on him, admitted having specifically targeted Jews, and confessed to following a van of Hasidic boys for two miles from the Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary to the bridge. Asked if he would have shot at a van full of black or Latino people, he replied, “No, I only shot them because they were Jewish.”

This belated confession points to a recurring problem of politicians, law enforcement, and the press with Islamist terrorism: their unwillingness to stare it in the face and ascribe murder to it.

Most recently, this avoidance reared its ugly head in the case of Mohammed Merah in Toulouse, France, where the establishment’s immediate impulse was to assume the murderer of three soldiers and four Jews was a non-Muslim. As my colleague Adam Turner notes in the Daily Caller, “the elite Western public officials’ and media’s speculation about the true killer, prior to the discovery of his identity, heavily focused (also here and here and here) on the belief that he was a white European neo-Nazi.” Only when Merah himself boasted of his crime to the police and even sent videos of his actions to Al Jazeera did the other theories finally vaporize.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Imposes Martial Law

On March 16, President Obama without public notice unilaterally assumed dictatorial power over the entire country, issuing an Executive Order (“Executive Order—National Defense Resources Preparedness”) that would permit him in times of peace or war, in his sole discretion, to control all of the nation’s industry and resources for “purposes of national defense.”

Under Article I, Section 9, Clause 2, Congress has the exclusive power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (the right of one to be released by a court from military or police custody) in “cases of rebellion or invasion” when “the public safety may require it.” Although not synonymous with martial law, which the Constitution never mentions by name, it is nevertheless clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend the President either to declare a state of war or to act independent of Congress to suspend the writ. Moreover, there is no executive power to impose blanket regulations over the economy independent of Congress, even in times of war. In this Executive Order, President Obama assumes that extraordinary power beyond the limits of the Constitution. Indeed, so sweeping are the areas of control, that there is no substantive difference between the powers he has assumed and those of a dictator.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Scrubbing Space Exploration Saved $3 Billion a Year, A Mere Rounding Error

After 30 years of liftoffs, 7,000 NASA workers found themselves unemployed and unemployable. America lost its Shuttle program and its ability to fly into space unless it buys a seat on a Russian rocket. We saved $3 billion a year, a mere rounding error in our out-of-control trillion-dollar spending, but we lost our national pride.

“President Obama canceled NASA’s plan to replace the space shuttle in favor of a more modest program, and then Congress slashed the funding for that.” (Scott Pelley)

According to Chris Millner, this is not the first time Brevard County experienced unemployment on such large scale. It happened in 1972 after the last mission to the moon. NASA had the shuttle designed for years, ready to replace the lunar mission. Similarly, President Bush had approved a program called Constellation to follow the Shuttle.


Mike Carpenter was shocked when President Obama cancelled Constellation in 2010 and turned over development of a new spaceship program to private entrepreneurs. “Well, we were lied to when Obama came through, gave us a lot of hope and supposedly a lot of change. Well, I’ve got change in my pocket, but the hope is gone.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sharpton Lands in Jail in Vieques

The Civil-rights Leader Got The Stiffest Sentence Among The Anti-navy Protesters.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and three Puerto Rican politicians from New York City received stiff jail sentences Wednesday for breaking onto the U.S. Navy’s grounds in Vieques during protests over bombing exercises there.

Cuffed in the courtroom and led to jail, Sharpton was sentenced to 90 days on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, a stiffer sentence than most of the other 12 on trial received. In determining jail time, U.S. District Judge Jose Fuste considered Sharpton’s previous conviction stemming from a 1993 protest at the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York State Assemblyman Jose Rivera, New York City Councilman Adolfo Carrion and Roberto Ramirez, president of the Bronx Democratic Party, were sent to jail for 40 days and fined $500 each. They all arrived in Puerto Rico from New York early Wednesday morning after being told Tuesday afternoon that they had to be in Fuste’s courtroom in a matter of hours.

Angry and surprised lawyers for the New York men said they would appeal the convictions and sentences immediately. Local lawyers represented Sharpton, Ramirez, Carrion and Rivera after the judge refused to delay the trial…

[Return to headlines]

Terry Jones Files Federal Suit Against Dearborn Over Free Speech Issues

Detroit— Controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones sued the city of Dearborn and police chief Monday in federal court, alleging they violated his constitutional rights.

The lawsuit stems from alleged restrictions placed on Jones, who wants to demonstrate and distribute literature Saturday in front of the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road.

A Jones colleague applied for a special events permit, which includes a document releasing the city from any liability, costs or claims resulting from the event.

“Plaintiffs should not be forced to sign a one-sided, unconscionable contract subject only to the unbridled discretion of the city’s legal department in order to exercise their constitutional rights,” Jones lawyer Erin Mersino wrote in the lawsuit. “The city’s free speech restriction imposes an unconstitutional burden on plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”

Jones wants a judge to declare the city is violating his constitutional rights and block the city from restricting his free speech rights, according to the lawsuit. Jones also wants unspecified damages.

The lawsuit was filed by Jones, Christian minister Wayne Sapp of Florida and the group Stand Up America Now, which was established to educate people about the threat of sharia law.

The group does not have insurance to cover the city’s “hold harmless” agreement and can’t afford to obtain coverage, according to the lawsuit.

Jones says he is coming to Dearborn on Saturday to protest “the rise of shariah” and what he calls “special Muslim privileges.”

Last year, authorities blocked Jones from protesting outside the mosque on Good Friday, but a Wayne County Circuit Court judge later ruled a lower court had erred by requiring Jones to take out a “peace bond” before holding his demonstration.

           — Hat tip: RE[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Torture Instrument Sale Suspended After Protests

A planned sale of torture instruments in Paris which belonged to one of France’s last executioners has been cancelled, for now at least.

The macabre collection of over 350 items was built up by Fernand Meyssonnier, one of France’s last executioners.

He worked between 1947 and 1961 and executed more than 200 people. Meyssonnier, who died in 2008, was particularly known for the executions he carried out in Algeria.

The collection, planned to take place on Tuesday, was put up for sale by his only daughter and was to be handled by the Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house.

On Tuesday morning the sale was still listed on the auction house’s website as “Penalties and Punishments of Yesteryear”.

Gruesome items up for sale included thumb screws, a hand-crusher and a guillotine.

Other torture instruments included a “pear of anguish”, also known as a “choke pear” as the pear-shaped instrument was inserted into the victim’s mouth and then slowly expanded during questioning.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France Expels Five Islamist Radicals

France has expelled two Islamic radicals and plans to deport three more as part of its crackdown following last month’s attacks by an Islamist who shot dead seven people, interior minister Claude Guéant announced on Monday.

An Algerian radical and a Malian imam were sent back to their home countries on Monday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A Saudi imam would not be let back into the country, a Turkish imam and a Tunisian radical would also shortly be expelled, and others would follow, the statement added.

At an election rally in the eastern city of Nancy on Monday, President Nicolas Sarkozy said he was sending a very clear message.

“All those who make remarks contrary to the values of the Republic will be instantly put outside the territory of the French Republic, there will no exception, there will be no leniency,” he said.

French police arrested 19 people in a crackdown on suspected Islamist networks in dawn raids on Friday as Sarkozy made the battle against extremism a keynote of his re-election campaign.

Of those, 16 were still in custody on Monday, sources close to the investigation said.

Some of the arrests were made in the southwest city of Toulouse, where gunman Mohamed Merah was shot dead by police last month after a 32-hour siege at a flat there.

Of the two deported on Monday, Algerian activist Ali Belhadad had served 18 months in France for his part in a 1994 attack on a Marrakesh hotel in which gunmen killed two people and wounded two others, said the ministry.

Belhadad, who had in recent weeks re-established links with the radical Islamist movement, had been deported to Algeria, the ministry said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France: The Liberal Jewish Eunuch

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The verdict is in on the Tolouse killings of Jewish children and the villain is that old standby, “Failure to Integrate”. What it comes down to is that Mohammed Merah did not kill Jewish children because he hated Jews, because he had breathed in the foul poisonous vapors of a creed which believes Jews to be subhuman devils whose destruction must come to pass before the golden age of Islam finally arrives. Mohammed Merah killed Jews because he was unhappy and it was France that made him unhappy.

Murder across religious and ethnic boundaries in Europe is inevitably a crime against multiculturalism. If someone kills a Muslim, it’s an assault on multiculturalism. If a Muslim kills someone, it’s also an assault on multiculturalism. Whoever ends up in the morgue, the incident becomes a clarion call for recommitting ourselves to more multiculturalism.

It’s unsurprising then that the real villains of the Tolouse killings are Sarkozy for banning burqas, Marine LePen for being critical of Islam and anyone who employs words or images which make Muslims feel unwelcome in France. Alienate a Muslim from French society and before you know it he’s shooting up some children in order to express his grievances about integration. Fail to make him happy and the blood of his victims is on your hands.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

French Islamist Suspects ‘Meant to Kidnap Jewish Judge’

Suspected Islamist militants arrested in France were plotting to kidnap a Jewish judge, sources close to the investigation told French media.

Of the 19 people arrested across the country on Friday, 16 remain in custody and the first court hearings are due to be held shortly.

France expelled two foreign-born radical Islamists on Monday.

An Islamist gunman, Mohamed Merah, killed seven people in south-western France last month before being shot.

A lawyer for his Algerian father says she has evidence his son pleaded his innocence in talks with police besieging his flat in Toulouse.

A French police source suggested the allegation did not square with the facts of the siege.

Police protection

Sources close to the investigation told French media that some of the suspects seized in Friday’s dawn raids had been planning to kidnap Jewish magistrate Albert Levy in the eastern city of Lyon.

Mr Levy and his family are now under police protection.

The head of France’s Central Directorate for Domestic Intelligence (DCRI), Bernard Squarcini, said earlier that the suspects were French nationals involved in “collective war-like training, linked to a violent, religious indoctrination”.

Some belonged to a banned extremist group, Forsane Alizza, and had been involved in paintball gun games, he added.

Police also seized a number of weapons including four Kalashnikov rifles, eight other rifles and “seven or eight” handguns, along with tear gas canisters and a taser, Mr Squarcini said.

French anti-terrorism legislation allows for suspects to be held for four days, and some of the suspects may be charged on Tuesday.

Right to appeal

On Monday, the French interior ministry announced two men had been expelled on grounds of state security and public safety, and had returned to their countries of origin.

One of these, Malian imam Almany Baradji, had reportedly preached anti-Semitism and advocated the full face veil for women — which is illegal in France.

The other, Algerian national Ali Belhadad, had already served a prison sentence for his role in a 1994 attack in Morocco, and had renewed his “ties with the radical Islamist movement in recent weeks”.

Both men may appeal against their expulsion, the French interior ministry told the BBC News website on Tuesday.

They had not been allowed to make appeals earlier because their expulsion was an “urgent procedure”.

Two imams from Saudi Arabia and Turkey and a suspected Tunisian militant are similarly expected to be expelled, with more expulsions to follow, officials said…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Greece: After Robberies, Museum Guards Get Police Training

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, APRIL 3 — More than 2,000 museum employees across Greece have begun week-long security seminars by police, in the wake of two embarrassing robberies as daily Athens News reports. Police said training sites has been set up in 23 cities and towns, with the seminars starting on Monday.

Last month, gunmen snatched dozens of ancient artefacts and a 3,200-year-old gold ring from a museum at Ancient Olympia. The heist came weeks after paintings by Picasso and Mondrian were stolen from the Athens’ National Gallery. “We have many priceless works on display on our museums,” Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos said. “I think the events at Olympia have concerned everyone, and the fact that human lives were put at danger is something we must strive to avoid at all costs.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Islamists and Far Right on Breivik Witness List

The lawyer for Norwegian confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik said on Monday he would call right-wing extremists and Islamists, including a radical jailed mullah, as witnesses in support of his client at this month’s trial.

Defence attorney Geir Lippestad said the idea of calling extremists like Mullah Krekar, who founded the radical Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam and has been sentenced to five years in prison for making death threats, was important to show that his client was not criminally insane.

An expert evaluation determined late last year that Behring Breivik was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, but the 33-year-old far-right extremist who has confessed to killing 77 people in twin attacks last July insists he is sane.

“We have to determine if the experts who evaluated Breivik mistakenly blew off his ideas and opinions, especially about an ongoing war (between Islam and the West), as paranoid hallucinations and a psychosis,” Lippestad told reporters.

“The question is to know if there are in fact groups, even small ones, in Norway who agree (with his premise). That could be important when it comes to the question of legal responsibility,” he added.

The far-right Norwegian blogger “Fjordman,” one of Behring Breivik’s mentors, will also be called to the witness stand, Lippestad said, stressing though that the defence does not intend to enable a free-flow of “political propaganda,” as his client appears to wish.

“Calling witnesses from extremist milieus is important because we think that the psychiatric experts perhaps do not have the necessary knowledge” to distinguish ideological extremism from a psychiatric disorder, he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Krekar, ‘Fjordman’ Called to Testify

Defense attorneys for confessed terrorist Anders Behring Breivik have confirmed that former guerrilla leader Mullah Krekar and anti-Muslim blogger Peder Jensen, better known as “Fjordman,” are among the roughly 35 persons they’re calling to testify during Breivik’s trial. The goal is to prove that Breivik, like Krekar and Jensen, is driven by political ideology, not insanity, and therefore can be held responsible for his attacks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Stolen Tax CD Case: Germany Outraged Over Swiss Arrest Warrants

Many German politicians and tax collectors are furious about Switzerland’s decision to issue arrest warrants against three German officials who bought a stolen CD with tax data. The move has gone down well in Switzerland, where politicians have praised the country’s assertiveness. But it is unclear how the Swiss authorities will proceed — the main witness is dead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Teens’ Savage Attack ‘May Have Been Filmed’

Video footage may be available of the brutal beating in Gothenburg where a gang of teenage boys are suspected of having beaten a 61-year-old into a coma as bystanders looked on.

On Sunday, four of the seven teens believed to have viciously attacked a 61-year-old man two weeks ago in Gothenburg were ordered held on remand, while the victim is still fighting for his life in hospital.

The boys, who are aged between 15 and 16, were ordered held on suspicion of aggravated assault in the beating of 61-year-old Carl-Eric Cedvander, who was left unconscious in a fountain in a town square.

Another three younger boys who were involved have been taken into custody by social services due to their age, but remain suspected of having a role in the attack.

On Tuesday, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that video surveillance cameras may have captured the event, with the tapes having been collected by police in hopes they will provide them with a better understanding what happened in the beating, which has has left Cedvander hovering between life and death in a coma ever since.

The attack, which occurred in Kortedala Torg on March 18th, has left other residents embittered and calling for action, and police are concerned that talks of a demonstration against violence may boil over into an anti-immigrant protest.

“We see that racist websites blame foreigners in general after what happened. It makes me angry, and we need to monitor developments carefully,” said the police’s Bertil Claesson to Aftonbladet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Terrified Pedestrians Scatter as Deranged Driver Tries to ‘Bowl Them Over Like Skittles’ Following a ‘Respect Row’

A crazed driver turned his car into a 50mph motorised battering ram as he tried to mow down a crowd of terrified pedestrians on a night out in Manchester.

These dramatic CCTV images show the moment the deranged driver screeched to a halt, did a U-turn and careered down the wrong side of a city centre street directly towards a group of revellers.

The frightened men and women scatter in terror as angry motorist Dominic Ali, 23, revs up his girlfriend’s Ford Focus and deliberately tries to bowl them over ‘like skittles’.

The businessman said he committed the act of extreme road rage because the group of people had been mocking him as he drew up at a junction.

Footage taken from a camera high above the street shows Ali exchange words with the pedestrians before screeching away, only to turn around a few yards down the street and drive directly at the pedestrians.

The images show an oncoming taxi pass by as Ali made the potentially deadly manoeuvre. The pedestrians are only saved by a lamppost as they dart for cover.

Ali then slammed his car into reverse and sped off backwards into the night as his victims furiously punched the bodywork of the blue vehicle.

Amazingly no one was hurt in the 4am incident which occurred on October 14 last year after the group left a bar in Manchester city centre.

Ali drove the battered car home but later handed himself in after he saw footage of the attack on BBC TV’s Six O’Clock News.

He later claimed a passer-by had tried to punch him through the driver’s side window whilst he was picking up a friend from a ‘gentleman’s club’ and he took revenge on the ‘spur of the moment.’

At Manchester Crown Court Ali, who runs a sports company, was jailed for eight months after he admitted dangerous driving.

His mother sobbed in the public gallery as her son was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £366 compensation to Manchester City Council for the damaged lamppost.

Earlier Tim Greenald prosecuting, said the incident occurred after Ali borrowed his girlfriend’s car and drove it into the city centre where he got caught up in the fracas.

He said: ‘There was between three and four passengers in the car as well as the defendant driving.’

According to Mr Greenald the front end of the car was damaged, the lights were damaged, and there was damage to the front suspension and nearside tyres.

‘He stated that he was picking up a female friend from a gentleman’s club and had driven up and saw fighting,’ added Mr Greenald.

‘A male tried to hit him and kicked the car and he claimed to have driven off because he was pursued by males.

‘He said he had to go back to pick up his friend and he was trying to turn right when he lost control due to the nature of the power steering.

‘We say it was intentional and he had driven off.

‘There are clearly words being said but if he had been punched and his car was kicked it’s nothing that the court can see.

‘When he made that right turn there were pedestrians on the road so that endangered their health and safety.’

In mitigation defence counsel Miss Carolyn Smith said: ‘He accepts his driving was deliberate and is struggling to accept the enormity of his actions. When confronted by the CCTV in his police interview he was horrified.

‘He did act on the spur of the moment following a conversation with those people. He was driving with a friend and was driving to pick another friend up from work.

‘He did make off from the group and it was his decision to turn round and frighten them. His actions are inexplicable and he has shown sincere remorse.’

But Judge Martin Steiger QC told Ali: ‘This behaviour is as bad as what can be imagined. You deliberately drove into people on the pavement.

‘You displayed shocking behaviour and the public were put at risk.’

Police said the incident was an act of ‘outrageous recklessness.’

Det Con Dave Berry, of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Anyone who views this footage will be in disbelief that no-one was seriously injured or even worse, killed.’

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Research and Innovation, Towards New Partnership

EU Commissioner, arab spring called for a new vision

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, APRIL 02 — Research and innovation are key elements of the European Union’s cooperation with Mediterranean countries, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Maire Geoghegan-Quinn has told the Euro-Mediterranean Conference that brings together more than 300 participants from over 30 countries to define a medium- to long-term agenda for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, in Barcelona.

Facing common challenges such as climate change, water and energy, “it makes perfect sense — said the the EU Commissioner — to tackle these issues jointly, and to bring our scientists together so they can find the answers we need”. “But there is also — Gheoghegan-Quinn added — a strong economic rationale to work together: investing in and cooperating on research and innovation promotes growth and jobs, and improves people’s lives across both regions”. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said a lot had been achieved since the European Neighbourhood Policy but the events of the Arab Spring “called for a new vision for Cooperation in Research and Innovation between the EU and the Mediterranean countries, which would contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth in the region, and create the conditions for developing a new cooperation partnership”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Books: Kibbutz Experiment Infantile and Cruel, Amos Oz

Stories collection comes out, homage to maladjusted pioneers

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, APRIL 3 — In drawing up the collectivistic project of the kibbutzim, “our founding fathers tried to change human nature in a single swoop, but the attempt was infantile and cruel”: these are the feelings running through the eight short stories in Amos Oz’s latest book. Its title, ‘Ben Haverim’, is willfully ambiguous, and could be translated as either “Among Friends” or “Among Comrades”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hebron, Army’s Ultimatum to Settlers, Netanyahu Steps in

They occupied central building

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — Tensions are running high today in the West Bank city of Hebron, with the deadline imposed by the Israeli army on a group of settlers, who have been asked to leave a building they occupied a few days ago, about to expire.

The settlers claim that they acquired the building legally (through a Palestinian intermediary), but the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has said that, for reasons of public order, the decision to allow new Israeli inhabitants into areas populated by Palestinian lies with the military authorities.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to avoid outbreaks of violence, the Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, has asked Barak to allow settlers the chance to prove their claims in front of a court, a process that the press says could take several days.

Hebron’s Palestinian mayor, Khaled Osseili, told military radio that settlers took possession of the building, which is located close to the sanctuary known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, by forging documents. The mayor also complained that he was unable to visit the contested building because he was refused access by both settlers and the Israeli army.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Got Israel’s Back: That’s Where the Knife Goes

Is the Obama administration using either leaks or black propaganda to sabotage Israel’s defence against the threat of genocide?- Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail Online

Evidently, reporters at the Daily Mail are not so caught up in the Trayvon ruckus that they’re ignoring the Obama administration’s most recent and most brazen efforts at sabotaging Israel’s efforts to keep itself on the planet.

John Bolton, also seemingly immune from Trayvonmania, told Fox News that an article in Foreign Policy quoted government sources claiming that Israel had been granted access to airfields in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet puppet state.

But, the best part was the element of surprise. Iran has, up till now, expected Israel to strike from the south. Now, thanks to the Obama administration, which is hell bent on preventing Israel from committing acts of self defense, Iran can move to protect itself.

Bolton made it clear that this was an “orchestrated leak”, not some CIA agent gone rogue. Phillips points out that the Foreign Policy piece was written by Mark Perry, a former unofficial Yasser Arafat adviser and well established Israel basher.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

See Why Israel Doesn’t Trust Obama?

Not only has our beloved “Dear Leader,” Obama, managed to “PO” Israel even more, he has now “PO’ed” the Baku government of Azerbaijan. By leaking news, recently, that Israel and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement for Israeli aircraft to have landing rights at Azeri airbases, Obama has infuriated Israel’s Netanyahu government even more and may have compromised Azerbaijan’s relations with Iran (shaky as they may be), as well.

In case you missed it when looking at a map, Azerbaijan is the small country snuggled tightly against the northern border of Iran. There are roughly sixteen million Azeris (The people of Azerbaijan).

Now here’s the thing: Azerbaijan’s government and the Israeli government have become, er, friends. The only people who are having a problem with this is the Obama Administration in America — and the Ahmadinejad Administration in Iran. Suddenly, it would seem, the US and Iran are BOTH going after Israel.

We have told you for months and even years that the Netanyahu government in Israel does not trust the Obama administration in the US and that is why the Israelis refuse to give Obama a heads-up on an attack on Iran. They are convinced (as am I) that the Obama Administration would immediately pick up the phone and call Iran and tell Ahmadinejad “the Israelis are coming.”

Far-fetched, you say? Believe what you want, but the truth is—Obama’s people have already tipped off Iran that there is a pact of some sort between the Baku government in Azerbaijan and the Netanyahu government in Israel possibly for landing rights for Israeli combat aircraft on Azerbaijan soil.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Non-Muslims Not Allowed to Buy Property on Turkish Island

Turkey’s Greek Orthodox citizens living on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) in the north Aegean cannot buy property on the island, the Taraf daily claimed on Sunday.

The issue emerged when lawyer Erhan Gökçe complained in court about officials who put up difficulties before non-Muslims on the island who want to obtain property. He first petitioned Gökçeada’s Land Registry and Cadastre Department, demanding to know why Muslims can easily buy property on Gökçeada while members of the Greek Orthodox community cannot. The Land Registry office has admitted to preventing non-Muslims from buying property, citing a National Security Council (MGK) decision, but refused to give further details. The office said details constituted state secrets and giving out the information might harm national security, foreign relations and national defense. Gökçe took the issue to an administrative court in Bursa earlier this year. The court ruled that Gökçe has the right to be informed by the bureau about the dubious property sale procedures on the island. However, the Gökçeada Land Registry and Cadastre Department appealed the ruling at the Council of State. The office argued in its appeal that both Gökçeada and Bozcaada are located in a strategic area in terms of national security.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Two Blazes in Moscow, 17 Killed

Moscow officials say a fire has been extinguished in a skyscraper under construction that’s set to become Europe’s tallest high-rise. On Moscow’s southern outskirts a blaze in a hostel has killed 17 migrant workers.

Helicopters dumped water to put out the blaze between the 65th and 67th floors of Moscow’s Federation Tower. Firefighters trudged up stairs because elevators are not yet in service on the construction site. Fourteen people were evacuated without injury, according to Russian news agencies.

The fiery night-time spectacle, watched by Moscow residents, reportedly began when a construction spotlight lamp set fire to plastic sheeting. The twin towers are being erected west of the Kremlin.

A second blaze on Moscow’s southern outskirts killed 17 migrant workers who were using a shed as a hostel fitted out with bunk beds, next to a market, according to a spokesman for Moscow’s fire department.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that the workers might have been from Tajikistan, a country in economic tatters which has a tenth of its population — especially its younger people — living abroad.

The news agency Interfax quoted investigators as saying an electric space heater left on in the improvised hostel overnight to ward off frigid spring weather may have been the cause of the blaze.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

German Military Fears for Afghanistan’s Future

German soldiers are preparing to withdraw from an unstable Afghanistan, a massive operation that defense officials are in the process of organizing. But military leaders worry that they’ll be leaving Afghans at the mercy of the Taliban — and warn that the country could fall apart.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Mumbai Attack: US Announces $10 Mn Bounty on Lashkar-E-Taiba Founder Hafiz Saeed

The US has announced a bounty of $10 million on outlawed Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

This was stated by US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman while addressing a gathering at the American Centre in New Delhi.

She was replying to a question on what the US was doing to bring to justice those involved in terror attacks against India.

Saeed, the founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, is on India’s most wanted list. After the 26/11 attacks that left 166 people dead, India has asked Pakistan to hand him over.

The US also offered up to $2 million for the deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki.

Sherman, who is on a four-day visit to the country, met Indian officials including Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai during which a host of key issues pertaining to Indo-US ties were discussed.

They also discussed the agenda for the Indo-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington DC in mid-June.

Sherman is leaving for Patna today, the first visit by such a high-ranking US official to Bihar.

From India, Sherman would travel to Nepal, where she will meet with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, other Nepalese officials and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Secretary-General Ahmed Saleem.

[Return to headlines]

The Logistical Nightmare of Leaving Afghanistan

NATO forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the withdrawal poses a massive logistical challenge. The US and its allies are dependent on air hubs in Russia and authoritarian Central Asian republics to transport its troops and equipment home — and getting those countries to play along is not always easy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Power Elite and the Muslim Brotherhood, Part 11

The imposition of Sharia nationwide is also the goal of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram (which means “Western education is sinful”) is modeled after the Taliban, and in a January 27 interview with The Guardian, senior member Abu Qaqa said they were spiritual followers of al-Qaeda and had met senior members of their network while visiting Saudi Arabia. Qaqa also revealed that Boko Haram “have our sights set on [bringing Sharia to] the whole world, not just Nigeria.”

Boko Haram first became active around 2003 in its spiritual home of Maiduguri in northern Nigeria where the Islamic Hausa are the majority. The group killed over 500 people in 2011 and at least 262 in the first few weeks of 2012, with its leader Imam Abubakar Shekau acknowledging the January 20 attacks in Kano (Nigeria’s second largest city in an oil-rich nation of 160 million) that killed at least 185 people.

The AP on January 25 in “Niger official: Nigeria sect linked to al-Qaeda” reported that Niger foreign minister Mohamed Bazoum said members of Boko Haram have had training and received explosives from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. This would be at camps in Mali in the summer of 2011, and remember that al-Qaeda came from the MB. Bazoum also said “there is no doubt the two organizations [Boko Haram and al-Qaeda] are connected and they have the same objective of destabilizing our region [Sahel].”

Reuters (Al Arabiya News, January 26) indicated that a UN report released January 26 revealed the “Libyan civil war might have given militant groups [Boko Haram and al-Qaeda] access to large weapons caches…including rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and anti-aircraft visors,… explosives [Semtex], and light anti-aircraft artillery mounted on vehicles…More advanced weapons such as surface-to-air missiles and man-portable defense systems, known as MANPADS, may also have reached groups in the region.”

And what else did the U.S. and NATO-supported civil war in Libya bring? Look at the result of the new Libyan “democracy,” which President Obama helped bring about. You can see Libyan rebels on a YouTube video posted March 2 and titled “Springtime in Libya” desecrating Christian and Jewish graves. On the same website, there is also a link to another video showing these “freedom loving” rebels torturing blacks in Libya.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Greece Eyes Illegal-Immigrant Detention Measure

The Greek government has put forth a proposal that would enable authorities to hold illegal immigrants indefinitely if they posed ‘a public health risk.’

A proposal from the Greek government announced late Monday night would make it legal for illegal immigrants to be held indefinitely if they are considered a public health risk. The human rights organization Amnesty International harshly criticized the proposal, saying it was “deeply alarming.”

“The Greek authorities must withdraw such measures immediately,” said Amnesty’s Jezerca Tigani, saying they would “only exacerbate the stigmatization of migrants and asylum-seekers in the country.”

Under the proposal, which comes days after another Greek plan that would convert 30 old military bases to immigrant detention centers with a capacity for a thousand people each, illegal immigrants could also be held for compulsory testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Parliament is scheduled to vote on the measure next week.

The draft legislation says that those immigrants who qualify for detention do so because they have contracted an infectious disease, or because they belong to groups vulnerable to such diseases, like intravenous drug users, persons involved in prostitution or people who reside in conditions that do not meet the elementary standards of hygiene.”

Greece is the European Union’s busiest hub for illegal immigrants.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tragedy South of Lampedusa, 10 Dead at Sea

Say rescued migrants

(ANSAmed) — LAMPEDUSA (AGRIGENTO) — Ten migrants, six Somalians and 4 Eritreans, are said to have died at sea during a crossing between Libya and Italy. The deaths have been reported by 48 refugees rescued yesterday some 60 miles south of Lampedusa by the Italian Navy’s Orione boat and by a motorboat belonging to the Coastal Guard.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

Boko Haram or as some people call them Boko Bonobos, are scattered,
rival Moslem bandits/terrorists from the Sahel Nigerian states. They are supported by certain invisible members of the Northern [Nigerian]Elites who have been uneasy that a Christian president has been elected [fairly].BH have certainly had IED and small arms training probably in Niger or Mali, and are fairly effective against the disorganised Nigerian police and army.As far as creating an Islamic Nigeria is concerned,it is basically not going to happen,
the murderous attacks of BH are all one-night stands, and if a second civil war loomed,it would this time be drawn out along religious lines,
which the Moslem North could not win.There are about 100 million
non-Moslems in Nigeria, the largest
Christian country in Africa, and
about 65 million Moslems.