Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120408

Financial Crisis
»Europe May be Heading Back Into Debt Storm
»Global Great Depression and Population Reduction by 2030: MIT and the Club of Rome Prophecy
»The Real Face of Bernanke and the Federal Reserve
»Do the Media Want a Race War?
»DOJ Attempts to Install Monitor in Sheriff Joe’s Office
»Longtime Correspondent Mike Wallace Dead at 93, CBS News Reports
»Obama’s Make-Believe Life
»Why Obama’s Political Mentor Deserted Him
»Why the President Should be Fired
Europe and the EU
»Burglar Swoops on Swiss Funeral-Goers’ Homes
»Copenhagen Really is Wonderful, For So Many Reasons
»EU Plays Down Financial Impact of Carbon Tax on Airlines
»Germany: Some Chocolate Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste
»Germany: Owl Wings Provide Example for Airplanes
»Hate Crimes in Europe
»Swine Flu Vaccines Cause 17-Fold Increase in Narcolepsy, Horrified Scientists Discover
»UK: University Boat Race 2012: Towpath Guerrilla Trenton Oldfield Sticks His Oar in
»Macedonia to Block Roma From EU
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel Declares German Writer Grass “Persona Non Grata”
South Asia
»Afghans: US Paid $50,000 Per Shooting Spree Death
»Pakistani President Visits India on Rare Trip
Far East
»China ‘Concerned’ Over North Korea Rocket Launch
»North Korea Says Interception of Its Satellite is ‘An Act of War’
»North Korea: Construction Boom Aims to Impress Populace
»North Korea Threatens ‘Merciless Punishment’ As it Readies Rocket Launch
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Nigerian Car Bombs Kill Many in Kaduna
Latin America
»‘War on Drugs’ Has Failed, Say Latin American Leaders
»Washington’s Neglected Southern Neighbors
»Stereotyping of Roma Continues in Germany
»Pope Benedict XVI Gives Easter Sunday Message

Financial Crisis

Europe May be Heading Back Into Debt Storm

(PARIS) — A flood of easy money courtesy of the European Central Bank made for a calm start to 2012 but a poor Spanish bond sale last week signals it may only have been a lull before the debt storm breaks, analysts warn.

The ECB injected roughly one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) into eurozone banks at auctions in December and February, helping to ease concerns banks would face a funding crunch.

Some of this cash ended up in the sovereign bond markets, helping reduce the rates countries need to pay to raise funds after a year of high tension over whether Italy and Spain — the eurozone’s third- and fourth-largest economies — might also need to be bailed out after Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

“The first quarter was exceptional for eurozone state borrowing,” said Jean-Francois Robin at France’s Natixis bank.

The first three months of the year are important as countries often try to meet a huge chunk of their annual borrowing needs at the outset and they made the most of the early calm.

“Paris and Berlin borrowed at historically very favourable rates and Madrid got a long way towards covering its financing needs this year,” noted Robin.

Spain covered 43 percent of its annual medium- and long-term financing needs in the first quarter, taking advantage of rates of around 4.0 percent compared to near 7.0 percent at the height of the crisis late last year.

But in the first week of April the calm on European debt markets abruptly ended.

Spain barely raised the amount it sought in a bond auction on Wednesday and had to pay investors sharply higher rates just after announcing a tough 2012 budget that aims to make a whopping 27 billion euros in savings.

Madrid’s warning that its public debt will jump by 10 percentage points this year to nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) clearly rattled investors who also faced the prospect of an economy slipping deeper into recession.

While ECB liquidity measures helped shield Madrid from immediate danger, economist Raj Badiani at IHS Global Insight warned the risks are expected to intensify next year as Spain is battered by recession and high unemployment and bad real estate assets drag down banks.

This would make it difficult for Spain to achieve its target of reducing its public deficit to the EU ceiling of 3.0 percent of GDP by austerity measures alone, he said, and raised the possibility it would need some sort of help from its European partners.

“This could entail the ECB providing more protection than its current policy of making limited Spanish bond purchases in the secondary market,” he said.

However, ECB chief Mario Draghi made it clear on Wednesday that such a move was not on the cards, although the central banker would not rule out further action to support the region’s banks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Global Great Depression and Population Reduction by 2030: MIT and the Club of Rome Prophecy

A U.N policy paper recently outlined the building blocks for a world government that would enforce a “heavy-handed” approach toward humanity’s impact on the environment, as this new epoch of The Anthropocene Age has begun to negatively alter the planet in irrevocable ways.

A rather infamous book, from a rather infamous group called The Club of Rome, is making a reappearance as humanity hurtles toward demise if its stewardship is not turned over to technocrats. Limits to Growth (1972) is nothing short of a blueprint for population reduction and neo-feudalism; or, as Yale economist Henry Wallich stated at the time of its release, its implementation means “consigning billions to poverty.”

It appears that this plan has been green-lighted by the elite, as recent MIT research validates the conclusions drawn by Limits to Growth at this crucial time when we see the world economy imploding, and a jack-booted green police ready to hit the streets. According to MIT, we are headed toward a guaranteed planet-wide economic collapse and “precipitous population decline” if we do not heed the words of The Club of Rome.

Austerity riots and suicides are filling the streets throughout Europe, as draconian measures are being taken to curb runaway debt. This debt has provably been created by the Ponzi scheme of international banksters who have employed a loan-shark framework that is only paying dividends to those in position to buy up deliberately collapsed assets for pennies on the dollar.

The global elite continue to ignore that the problems which have been generated across the globe have very little to do with true resource shortages, unsustainable economies, or overpopulation; but rather the centralized control, mismanagement, and outright theft by corporate entities using globalization as a means of reducing sovereignty and self-determination.

[Return to headlines]

The Real Face of Bernanke and the Federal Reserve

Here is how the establishment media portrays the bankster minion Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke: [picture]

They expect us to believe he is a “hero” who saved the global economy when the exact opposite is the case. Bernanke and the Federal Reserve rigged an already rigged system of fiat paper money manipulated by the bankers. The monetary policies of the Fed created the economic environment that led to the slow motion Greatest Depression now underway.

Check out this primer [url] on how the fixed monetary game is really played.

Here’s a true representation of the Federal Reserve. It will never be published by The Atlantic or any other establishment publication: [picture]

During president Andrew Jackson’s effort to free the country from the grip of the bankers, newspapers routinely published political cartoons similar the one above. See one here [url].

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Do the Media Want a Race War?

It’s no surprise that Al Sharpton and his fellow rabble-rouser, Jesse Jackson, are doing everything they can to stir passions to the boiling point regarding the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. That’s been their modus operandi for more than 20 years. Does anybody remember Tawana Brawley, the fake rape victim Sharpton used as his first stepping-stone to national fame (or should I say infamy)?

But I can’t remember a time when the media were so eager to give nationwide publicity to every vicious lie and racist accusation. Forget about trying to get calmer heads to prevail or any of that nonsense about not rushing to judgment. The media want someone’s head on a platter (or at least George Zimmerman’s body in jail). And they want it now.

If they have to doctor the facts a bit to get it, so what? They’re willing to use some incredibly dishonest means to see that “justice” is done.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

DOJ Attempts to Install Monitor in Sheriff Joe’s Office

The Department of Justice in Washington has accused Sheriff Joe Arapio’s Office of engaging in what they describe as ‘racial profiling and mistreatment of illegals aliens and hispanics’ and alleged ‘human rights violations’ in its patrols and jails.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Longtime Correspondent Mike Wallace Dead at 93, CBS News Reports

Mike Wallace, a pioneer of American broadcasting who confronted leaders and liars for the newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for four decades, has died, CBS News said. He was 93.

His death was announced on CBS by the anchor of its Sunday morning program, Charles Osgood. The network did not immediately specify when or where he died. Mr. Wallace had been ill for several years.

As one of the original correspondents and hosts of “60 Minutes,” which was started in 1968, Mr. Wallace helped to establish the television newsmagazine format. “60 Minutes” is now the most popular such program on American television.

An earlier version of this news alert incorrectly stated that Mr. Wallace was 94.

[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Make-Believe Life

I have this theory about Barack Obama. I think he’s led a kind of make-believe life in which money was provided and doors were opened because at some point early on somebody or some group took a look at this tall, good looking, half-white, half-black, young man with an exotic African/Muslim name and concluded he could be guided toward a life in politics where his facile speaking skills could even put him in the White House.

In a very real way, he has been a young man in a very big hurry. Who else do you know has written two memoirs before the age of 45? “Dreams of My Father” was published in 1995 when he was only 34 years old. The “Audacity of Hope” followed in 2006. If, indeed, he did write them himself. There are some who think that his mentor and friend, Bill Ayers, a man who calls himself a “communist with a small ‘c’“ was the real author.

His political skills consisted of rarely voting on anything that might be deemed controversial. He went from a legislator in the Illinois legislature to the Senator from that state because he had the good fortune of having Mayor Daley’s formidable political machine at his disposal.

He was in the U.S. Senate so briefly that his bid for the presidency was either an act of astonishing self-confidence or part of some greater game plan that had been determined before he first stepped foot in the Capital. How, many must wonder, was he selected to be a 2004 keynote speaker at the Democrat convention that nominated John Kerry when virtually no one had ever even heard of him before?

[Return to headlines]

Why Obama’s Political Mentor Deserted Him

Alice Palmer, the avowed communist who helped launch Barack Obama’s career, continues to haunt Obama even today.

In 2008, Palmer showed up at the Democratic National Convention in Denver as a Hillary Clinton supporter, still resentful toward Obama for knocking her and three other candidates off the ballot for an Illinois state Senate seat some 13 years earlier by challenging voter signatures.

“The Democratic primary, what I witnessed, was one of the most appalling, disgusting things I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Hollywood-based digital photographer Michele Thomas told WND in a joint interview with Hollywood film producer Bettina Viviano.

Thomas began as a volunteer for the 2008 Clinton campaign then launched a petition drive when she learned the Democratic National Committee was not going to allow delegates to cast their votes for Clinton at the convention.

“I just felt like the entire process was being eviscerated and rules were being changed all along to ensure that no matter what, Barack Obama was the nominee,” Thomas said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Why the President Should be Fired

Decide now to fire the President in November, and start now preparing to win your precinct, district, county, state, and nation.

There are far more reasons to fire President Barack Hussein Obama than can be addressed in a single column. Here are just a few reasons that should be considered.

President Obama believes that the U.S. Constitution is flawed, and despite his oath to protect and defend it, he has consistently ignored it.


President Obama believes in the “One World” vision under the authority of the United Nations. From his first trips to foreign countries, he has bowed to foreign leaders and apologized for America’s accomplishments. He has accepted the U.N.’s theory that the earth is dying because of population growth and abuse of resources. His entire energy policy is based on complying with the U.N.’s theory that climate change is caused by carbon emissions from fossil fuel.

More than 31,000 scientists say publicly that there is no human-caused global warming, nor is it likely in the future. The U.N. theory is based on computer models that fail to reflect reality. Models predicted a two-degree rise in temperature since the industrial revolution. Reality is a temperature rise of less than one degree, which cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Obama has embraced the U.N.’s Agenda 21 program for achieving “sustainable development” by government control of land use, and of about every other facet of human experience. When Congress refuses to enact his policies, he finds another way to prevail. Through Executive Orders, he has created special councils that engage virtually every federal agency in the implementation of the recommendations contained in Agenda 21.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Burglar Swoops on Swiss Funeral-Goers’ Homes

A 50-year-old man from Neuchatel has been arrested for a spate of burglaries committed while the victims attended the funerals of loved ones.

“He stole from me while I was crying for my husband,” 66-year-old Gilberte Guillaume told online newspaper Le Matin. She had been attending a late-night vigil at the time of the break-in.

“I cannot even find the words to express how indecent it is.”

Guillaume is one of 22 victims who were all burgled while attending funeral services. The offender is thought to have studied the death announcements printed in the press the day before each crime to identify the towns and names of his future victims.

The burglar has been particularly active in the cantons of Jura, Neuchatel, Fribourg, Bern and Vaud, stealing mainly money and jewellery before his arrest at the end of March. The police first tried to catch the man using surveillance, but were finally able to track him using evidence from his last burglary.

The man, known to the police for having committed similar crimes in the past, said that bad financial circumstances had driven him to burgle.

Although the man acted alone, it is clear to police from the pattern of burglaries that he was not responsible for all of those committed in the canton of Vaud while funerals were taking place.

“We continue to monitor the homes of friends and family during funeral ceremonies,” the cantonal police spokeswoman Donatella Del Vecchio told Le Matin. “But we cannot be everywhere.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Copenhagen Really is Wonderful, For So Many Reasons

Denmark has just come top in the UN’s survey of global happiness — far ahead of 18th-placed Britain. One former Londoner who moved to the Danish capital three years ago can see why

It feels incredibly safe. I run in the dark with my iPod in full view and, like most Danish mothers, I would leave Liv sleeping in a pram outside a cafe. Yet occasionally I miss the edginess of Shoreditch high street late on a Friday night.

It’s very white too — markedly so for us former inhabitants of Finsbury Park — and with this comes a lack of the cultural diversity and understanding that is such an important component in making London the great city it is. The Danes are gradually opening up their borders, but there’s an unspoken fear among many that this perfect society, which functions so efficiently because of universal high taxes, might shatter under the strain of an influx of immigrants.

In many ways the city feels like London might have 60 years ago and for us, at this point in our lives, it truly is a case of wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen. Whether it can retain its spot at the top of the World Happiness Report will be fascinating to see.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Plays Down Financial Impact of Carbon Tax on Airlines

(PARIS) — The EU’s climate commissioner played down the impact of the controversial carbon tax being imposed by the bloc on airlines, saying Friday it would cost less than a cup of coffee per passenger.

With the tax, sharply criticised by China and the United States, “a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt for example will cost around an extra two euros per passenger,” Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told the French daily Les Echos.

“In other words, an amount less than that of a cup of coffee at the airport,” she added.

With the dispute intensifying over the tax, Hedegaard said it was important to keep a sense of proportion.

Last month plane maker Airbus, plus half a dozen airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France wrote a letter to the British, French, German and Spanish governments warning the tax could cost them billions of dollars in lost orders and business and lead to the loss of the thousands of jobs.

A subsequent letter by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to European Commission head Jose Manuel Barosso made similar points, noting that China had already suspended an important Airbus order.

“We, as Europeans, of course cannot let ourselves be swayed by such threats,” Hedegaard told Les Echos, stressing that China’s payments due under the levy this year would be only 1.9 million euros.

“That is very, very little to be bandying around such threats for,” she added.

Hedegaard said Europe “was as determined as anyone to achieve an ambitious and coordinated approach at the international level” to combat global warming emissions.

“But such an accord will not be possible if certain countries who have opposed the measure up to now do not seriously change their position,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Some Chocolate Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste

Germans love chocolate. But the labor and living conditions of cocoa planters are bad, and child labor is common. The German initiative “Forum Sustainable Cocoa” wants to change that.

Statistics say every German eats eleven kilos of chocolate per year, making Germany one of the most important markets for cocoa. Five to six million farmers in Latin America, South East Asia, and especially Africa produce 90 percent of world production of cocoa.

As much as 70 percent of the cocoa traded across the world is produced in western Africa, with Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Togo being the major exporters.

But according to a 2009 survey conducted commissioned by the US Tulane University, in Ivory Coast and Ghana alone, more than 250,000 children work on cocoa plantations under conditions that violate both domestic laws and international rules set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Owl Wings Provide Example for Airplanes

Engineers are trying to learn how owls fly through the night without making a sound. Their wings could serve as models for quieter planes, turbines, or air-conditioning systems.

Bionics is the technical term for a field of research where scientists try to emulate nature. Owls are among the animals that have much to teach mankind. It is fascinating, say the scientists from the RWTH Aachen University, how the birds of prey fly without making any sound when they’re hunting.

“Owls hunt at night, when visual information is very limited,” explains biologist Thomas Bachmann. “That’s why owls have specialized in detecting their prey with their ears. And that can only work when they fly quietly.”

When analyzing the aerodynamics of an owl’s flight, Bachmann noticed that barn owls weigh almost as much as pigeons, but their wings are considerably larger and more cupped. “This enables the bird to maximize uplift in fairly low speed,” Bachmann says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hate Crimes in Europe

Studies suggest that 85% of hate crimes in Europe with an anti-religious background are directed against Christians. It is high time for the public debate to respond to this reality! We also notice professional restrictions for Christians: a restrictive application of freedom of conscience leads to professions such as magistrates, doctors, nurses and midwives as well as pharmacists slowly closing for Christians. Teachers and parents get into trouble when they disagree with state-defined sexual ethics. Our research shows that only with a more accommodating approach to religion and specifically to Christianity, Europe will live up to its foundational value of freedom.

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

Swine Flu Vaccines Cause 17-Fold Increase in Narcolepsy, Horrified Scientists Discover

(NaturalNews) The long-term health damage caused by the great H1N1 swine flu scam “pandemic” of 2009 — and particularly the mass vaccination campaign that accompanied it — is already becoming apparent in the form of an autoimmune disorder. A new review published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE confirms that Pandemrix, a swine flu vaccine produced by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is responsible for causing an up to 1700 percent increase in narcolepsy among children and teenagers under 17 years of age.

Based on their findings, a cohort of scientists has determined that narcolepsy rates increased significantly following mass vaccination campaigns with Pandemrix. Compiled data has revealed that between 2002 and 2009, the narcolepsy rate among children under age 17 was 0.31 per 100,000. But in 2010, that number jumped to 5.3 per 100,000, which represents a 17-fold increase.

Similarly, research compiled by Markku Partinen of the Helsinki Sleep Clinic and Hanna Nohynek of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, both of which were also involved in the new research, has determined a link between Pandemrix and narcolepsy. Children not vaccinated with Pandemrix were found to have a 1300 percent less risk of developing narcolepsy compared to children who were vaccinated with Pandemrix.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: University Boat Race 2012: Towpath Guerrilla Trenton Oldfield Sticks His Oar in

An Australian activist with an anti-elitism manifesto has been named as the man who disrupted the University boat race between Oxford and Cambridge by swimming in the River Thames.

First, Sir Matthew Pinsent, the former Olympic rower, thought he saw debris in the water. Then, he and hundreds watching on the banks of the river thought it must be a dog, swimming towards the Oxford and Cambridge boats as they sped past Chiswick on a choppy Thames.

But when he realised that it was a bearded man in a wetsuit who was heading straight for Oxford’s vessel, he desperately signalled to stop the Boat Race, eight minutes after it had begun.

Staring from the water at Sir Matthew, the assistant umpire, was Trenton Oldfield, an Australian activist who had swum in to publicise his bizarre manifesto. As the two crews stopped, the oars inches from Mr Oldfield’s head, officials dragged him out of the water and on to another launch.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Macedonia to Block Roma From EU

Macedonia plans to punish Roma who seek to apply for asylum in the EU. Behind this curb on freedom of travel are warnings from Brussels threatening Skopje’s EU aspirations.

Since December 2009, citizens of Serbia and Macedonia no longer need a visa to travel to the European Union. Many Roma from those countries see this as a chance for a better life in the West. The flow of Roma immigrants to the EU has been steadily on the rise and while many of them apply for asylum once in the EU, none has actually been recognized as a political refugee.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Declares German Writer Grass “Persona Non Grata”

Israel has barred famous German author Gunter Grass from entering the country, after Grass wrote a poem in which it is depicted as endangering global peace. Grass says he is a friend to Israel despite his comments.

In a statement, Interior Minister Eli Yeshai was cited as saying: “Gunter’s poem is an attempt to fan the flames of hate against the state of Israel and the Israeli people.” Yishai said on Sunday: “If Günter wants to continue disseminating his distorted and mendacious works I advise him to do it from Iran where he will find a supportive audience.”

In the verses published last week, titled “What Must Be Said,” Grass said Israel must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran over fears that Tehran is building nuclear weapons.

Israe lhas threatened to take military action against Iran to halt what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described as a threat akin to the Holocaust. Iran claims its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes. It has, however, called for Israel’s destruction and questioned the Nazi genocide.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghans: US Paid $50,000 Per Shooting Spree Death

The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the shooting spree allegedly committed by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday.

The families of the dead, who received the money Saturday at the governor’s office, were told that the money came from U.S. President Barack Obama, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. He and community elder Jan Agha confirmed the payout amounts.

[Return to headlines]

Pakistani President Visits India on Rare Trip

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is in India on an informal one-day goodwill trip. The two nuclear-armed rivals have long been at loggerheads over a number of sensitive issues. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in India on Sunday on what is the first trip by a Pakistani head of state since 2005.

Zardari’s trip has been described as “private.” He is to lunch with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before visiting a Muslim shrine 350 kilometers (220 miles) from New Delhi. Zardari and Singh were expected to hold private talks before the lunch. Diplomatic sources said no statements were likely to be made after the meeting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Far East

China ‘Concerned’ Over North Korea Rocket Launch

The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea have all met to discuss a planned rocket launch by North Korea, which some suspect may be a disguised ballistic missile test.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi hosted talks with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Sunday, expressing concern over escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula as the North prepares for a rocket launch.

Beijing’s official news agency Xinhua reported that Yang told both ministers separately on Saturday that China was “concerned and worried about the latest development on the Korean peninsula.”

“It is in the common interest of all sides to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and realize long-term peace and stability in northeast Asia,” Yang said. “China hopes all parties involved will keep calm and exert restraint.”

North Korea has announced plans to launch a rocket sometime between April 12 and 16 in honor of what would have been the 100th birthday of its late founding leader, Kim Il-Sung, on April 15. Pyongyang said the rocket will put a satellite into orbit to research crops and natural resources.

The move angered the United States and its regional allies Japan and South Korea, who regard it as a thinly-veiled ballistic missile test in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Both Japan and South Korea have warned that they may shoot down parts of the North Korean rocket if they threaten their territory. Japan reportedly deployed missile batteries in Tokyo and sent out three destroyers carrying sea-based interceptor missiles into the East China sea.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Korea Says Interception of Its Satellite is ‘An Act of War’

SEOUL-North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ratcheted up his regime’s militaristic rhetoric as Pyongyang threatened to retaliate against any country that intercepts a North Korean rocket booster or collects the rocket debris.

This developed as The Associated Press (AP) reported that North Korea may have moved the first stage of a rocket to a launch stand, indicating it is on schedule for a controversial mid-April launch, according to a new analysis of satellite images.

The rocket isn’t visible at the Tongchang-ri site, but an analysis provided to the AP by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says evidence suggests the first stage may be in the launch stand’s closed gantry, a support frame, ahead of the launch planned for April 12 to 16.

The North has vowed to launch a rocket to put an earth observation satellite into orbit, a move widely seen as a pretext to disguise a banned test of its ballistic-missile technology.

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea in Pyongyang warned that interception of the satellite would be “an act of war” and would cause a tremendous catastrophe.

Whoever “intercepts the satellite or collects its debris will meet immediate, resolute and merciless punishment” from the North, the committee said in an English-language statement carried by its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) late Thursday.

The warning came days after South Korea said it was exploring measures to intercept the rocket booster in case it veers off its trajectory. Japan has also ordered its troops to shoot down the rocket if there is concern it or parts of it could land on Japan.

South Korea expects the rocket’s first-stage booster to land in international waters, some 170 kilometers south of its southwestern city of Gunsan, before the rocket’s second-stage booster falls east of the Philippines.

The North has said it chose a safe flight path to ensure carrier rocket debris jettisoned during the flight will not impact on neighboring countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Korea: Construction Boom Aims to Impress Populace

North Korea has long been known for its military-first policy, which in effect translated into a military-only policy with little room left for investment anywhere else. But now, without abandoning its focus on what it calls defense, it also appears to be trying to revive a dying economy and rebuild on the home front.

The stated aim of the reconstruction sweeping Pyongyang is to put North Korea on the path of being a “strong and prosperous nation” in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung on April 15. But the campaign also serves another political purpose: It sets up Kim Jong Un as the new leader of a great people, just as a construction frenzy heralded his father’s ascension before him.

“This is to show their own people they are not poor and underdeveloped,” said Hazel Smith, a professor of humanitarianism and security at Britain’s Cranfield University who lived in North Korea for a few years. “Construction is the cheapest thing you can do and show visible results if you’re an economy that hasn’t got much money.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Korea Threatens ‘Merciless Punishment’ As it Readies Rocket Launch

Japan and South Korea have put their armed forces on standby in response to North Korea’s plans, prepared to shoot down the missile if it passes over their territory.

North Korea was this weekend believed to be at the first stage of launching the rocket, expected between April 12 and 16, claiming that it is part of the centenary celebrations for the birth of the state’s founder Kim Il Sung.

However, the United States, Japan and South Korea believe that in reality it will be a ballistic missile test in violation of UN resolutions.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Car Bombs Kill Many in Kaduna

Two car bombs have exploded in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, killing at least 16 people, officials say.

Several others were seriously injured in the attack and have been taken to hospital.

The death toll could be higher, with one official, Abubakar Zakari Adamu, telling the AP news agency 38 had died.

A bomb later exploded in the central city of Jos, injuring several people.

The blasts in Kaduna, which caused extensive damage, happened near restaurants, a hotel and two churches.

Religious conflict

The area has been the scene of a religious conflict in recent years that has claimed hundreds of lives.

There had been warnings of attacks in the region over Easter.

Many of the dead are thought to be motorcycle taxi drivers and beggars.

Witnesses say debris was thrown dozens of metres from the centre of the blast.

Kaduna can be found on the dividing line between Nigeria’s largely Christian south and Muslim north.

‘Horrific act’

No one has yet admitted carrying out the bombing, but the BBC’s correspondent in Nigeria, Mark Lobel, says the radical Islamist group Boko Haram recently said it would carry out attacks in the area over the Easter holiday.

Local Christian groups have speculated that the bombers were targeting a nearby church, but that heavy security meant they detonated their explosives in a nearby area instead.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Latin America

‘War on Drugs’ Has Failed, Say Latin American Leaders

Watershed summit will admit that prohibition has failed, and call for more nuanced and liberalised tactics

A historic meeting of Latin America’s leaders, to be attended by Barack Obama, will hear serving heads of state admit that the war on drugs has been a failure and that alternatives to prohibition must now be found.

The Summit of the Americas, to be held in Cartagena, Colombia is being seen by foreign policy experts as a watershed moment in the redrafting of global drugs policy in favour of a more nuanced and liberalised approach.

Otto Pérez Molina, the president of Guatemala, who as former head of his country’s military intelligence service experienced the power of drug cartels at close hand, is pushing his fellow Latin American leaders to use the summit to endorse a new regional security plan that would see an end to prohibition. In the Observer, Pérez Molina writes: “The prohibition paradigm that inspires mainstream global drug policy today is based on a false premise: that global drug markets can be eradicated.”

Pérez Molina concedes that moving beyond prohibition is problematic. “To suggest liberalisation — allowing consumption, production and trafficking of drugs without any restriction whatsoever — would be, in my opinion, profoundly irresponsible. Even more, it is an absurd proposition. If we accept regulations for alcoholic drinks and tobacco consumption and production, why should we allow drugs to be consumed and produced without any restrictions?”

He insists, however, that prohibition has failed and an alternative system must be found. “Our proposal as the Guatemalan government is to abandon any ideological consideration regarding drug policy (whether prohibition or liberalisation) and to foster a global intergovernmental dialogue based on a realistic approach to drug regulation. Drug consumption, production and trafficking should be subject to global regulations, which means that drug consumption and production should be legalised, but within certain limits and conditions.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Washington’s Neglected Southern Neighbors

It seems to be US President Obama’s ‘Latin America Month’: He hosts the presidents of Mexico and Brazil and will later be off to a regional summit in Colombia. But Latin America is still far from a priority for the US.

If you’re browsing US papers for articles on Latin America, you’ll have to look very closely to find some. On the day after the North America summit at the White house, President Obama met with his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper — but the New York Times printed a picture of the three of them only on page 17.

The headline was “President confident health law will stand.” As usual, the US journalists’ main interest was Obama’s domestic policy: the health reform is currently in limbo, pending a decision by the US Supreme Court. Only towards the end of the three leaders’ press conference, the questions focused on the relations of the US with Mexico and Canada.

In fact, there are plenty of issues to discuss — the stream of illegal immigrants and the drug and weapons trafficking from south to north being the most pressing. At least those topics do regularly make it into US papers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Stereotyping of Roma Continues in Germany

Foreign, free, travelling and lazy — the people who are dismissed as “gypsies” have been stereotyped for centuries. Hundreds of thousands of them were killed by the Nazi regime, and segregation continued after 1945.

‘Romani village to move to Berlin’ ran one headline in Berlin daily BZ on April 2, and the Berliner Morgenpost followed up with ‘Romani children too much to handle for Berlin teachers’ the next day. Those were just two recent headlines in German newspapers.

Such articles go on to describe aggressive begging, welfare payments allegedly obtained under false pretences and mountains of garbage. This kind of reporting has strengthened the distorted picture of a minority group that has been disparaged in Europe for centuries.

According to polls conducted by conflict researcher Wilhelm Heitmeyer, some 44 percent of the German population believe that Sinti and Roma have a tendency to criminal conduct. Four out of 10 say it is a problem for them to have Sinti and Roma nearby. And yet, say Heitmeyer and other researchers, the respondents are not likely to know any members of the minority they dislike so much.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Pope Benedict XVI Gives Easter Sunday Message

The pope has called for peace in Syria and across the Middle East in his traditional speech on Easter Sunday. The message coincided with a car bombing at a church in Nigeria that left several dead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


kloutlichter said...

After spending time in slovakia I can vouch that the roma are treat worse than dogs and that the normal person in the street would like them to be placed in some form of concentration camp.
However,there is reportedly 98% of a slovak roma village moved into an area called govan hill in Glasgow.I have heard from different reliable sources that there is now child prostitution on the streets,men offering 14 year old daughters for oral sex and younger.Gangmasters and theft.A member of the police I know that works in the area has said that if it was up to them they would biometricaly test all those entering the area as they do not know who is there and that crime is rife and tensions are rising between the roma and the local pakistani community who proceeded them.
A friend that works for glasgow city council was at a meeting regarding the state of affairs in in the area.He was astounded at one of the city representatives stating that people should be aware of cultural differences when dealing with the roma as throwing shite out of flat windows is obviously what they do and need they to be educated otherwise.A council member stood up and said that after working in refuse collection in the area for 40 yrs he has never seen the like of it.
I myself have seen roma woman head first in large refuse bins that the halal butchers use to dispose of chicken skin.They were collecting it and putting it in plastic bags.
Now I'm not generally going to blame the roma after centuries of persecution,but I would like to thank the british govt for turning parts of britain into a third world country where my wife and child have had to run scared at an immigrant brandishing a knife in the local park and my daughter coming home and singing twinkle twinkle little star in Urdu!.
Thanks Tony Blair and the labour party.Luckily I could afford to move out the area but many others cant.
I have a friend who is very left wing,a very intelligent man,a good man.He decided that his 5 yr old daughter could not possibly start the local catholic school as 98% of it was pakistani.He has put her someone else but he was racked with giult.
Another friend who has a 6 yr old boy at another school even wrote a letter to the headmistress to protest at future plans that the children would be given sex education in male and female groups and not together.She is a lovely left leaning lady who works in the arts.The headmistress told her that this is what was going to happen because a third of the children are muslim and it is a sensitive issue.
Thanks reap what you sow!