Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120609

Financial Crisis
»Help for Spanish Banks Under Discussion
»Moody’s Warns Greek Exit Could Prompt German Downgrade
»Spain Will Seek European Union’s Help to Rescue Its Banks
»Spain to Get £80billion in Emergency Loans From the Eurozone as Leaders Try to Prevent Banking Collapse Which Could Destroy the Single Currency
»Spending and Demographics
»After No-Fly Problem, Passenger Walks Into U.S.
»American People: Foreigners in Our Own Land
»Caroline Glick: Defeating the Jewish Alinskyites
»Jimmy Carter and World Chaos
Europe and the EU
»“European” — A Dirty Word in Washington
»Belgium: Muslim Teacher Recited Koran Instead of Calling Ambulance When Pupil Had Fit
»Bulgaria: Stolen RPP Shipment Seized on Highway
»EC Approves Major EU Co-Funded Project in Greece
»France: High-Speed Train But Low-Cost, Tickets Under 25 Euros
»Italy: Venice Church Bells to be Rung ‘In Moderation’
»Italy: Tax-Collection Agency Threatened in Southern City of Cosenza
»Italy: Women Pours Boiling Oil Over ‘Cheating’ Egyptian Husband
»Nudists to Protest in Human Chain on Italian Beach
»‘Sexual Depravity’ of Penguins That Antarctic Scientist Dared Not Reveal
»UK: ‘Grooming is a Particular Problem in Asian Communities’
»UK: An Addition to Labour’s Sensible Commentariat: Atul Hatwal
»UK: Cook’s Team is Scathing After BOA Snub
»UK: Killer of Finsbury Park Imam Judged Insane and Sent to Mental Hospital Indefinitely
»UK: Man’s Facebook F-Word Blast
»UK: Shops Prepared as EDL Get Ready to Descend on Rochdale for Rally
»Vatican: Church Lambasts Nun for Lessons in Masturbation, Other Sex Acts
»Why Did Pope’s Manservant Keep Papers at Home Even After Coming Under Suspicion?
Mediterranean Union
»Tunisia: EU Parliament Working for Post-2013 Aid, Shultz
North Africa
»Egyptian Presidential Election: Leading Egypt to Democracy or Disaster?
»Libya: Diplomats Seek to End Row After Three Italian Fishing Boats Seized
»Sharia Guardians Reviving Islamic Revolution in Libya
»Tourism: Egypt Heads for Recovery, 2012 +35.9% Italians
»Tunisia Tells Imams to Stop Pushing Syria Jihad
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel to Decide on Settlement University
Middle East
»Domestic Violence in Turkey Rife Despite New Law
»Gulf: Flame Virus Detected in Oil-Rich States’ Computers
»Syria’s Ultimatum to Christians: “Leave Qusayr”
»Syria: US Sings to Syria: ‘We Will, We Will Bomb You!’
»Teach Jihad to Kids: Al-Zawahiri’s Wife to Women
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Taliban ‘Kill Four French Troops’
»Afghanistan: ANA Mentorship, It’s a Win-Win for All
»Burma Police Clash With Muslim Protesters in Maung Daw
»India: Muslims in India Split Over Girls’ Wedding Age
»Martial Law in Myanmar District
»Pakistan: Police Have a Sneaking Fear
»Pakistan Drifts Toward China as US Loses Patience
Far East
»China to Launch Module for Space Rendezvous
Australia — Pacific
»Write Stuff Leads us Into the Light
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Somali Islamists Offer 10 Camels as Bounty for Obama
»Anomie and Immigration
»Italy: Two Montenegrin Gypsies Arrested for Forcing 10-Year-Old to ‘Marry’
»UK: Teacher Reveals She Has Class of 33 Children — And None of Them Speak English
Culture Wars
»Is Jesus a Socialist?
»Time Magazine Pushes Death Agenda: Remove Feeding Tubes From the Dying Elderly (And Get a Cash Bonus!)
»A New Global Elite is on the March

Financial Crisis

Help for Spanish Banks Under Discussion

Germany calls on Spain to seek a bailout as eurozone finance ministers discuss the possibilities.

Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany’s central bank, has called on Spain to seek a bailout from the eurozone rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

In a in a pre-release of an interview in the weekly Welt am Sonntag, the Bundesbank chief said: “The motto must not be: above all no rescue funds. Hoping for central bank aid to avoid fulfilling one’s responsibilities is a bad move.”

However, an economy ministry spokeswoman in Spain said Saturday that the country is not seeking aid for its banking sector.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria confirmed on Friday that the government is waiting for the results of an IMF report and two independent audits into Spanish banks’ recapitalisation needs before making a decision.

The International Monetary Fund said late on Friday that Spain’s weak banks would need at least 40 billion euros (50 billion dollars) in new capital to bolster their defences against severe financial shocks.

A spokesman for Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of eurozone finance minister meetings, said Spain had not yet requested help. However, he added “we want to prepare if the call comes.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Moody’s Warns Greek Exit Could Prompt German Downgrade

The ratings agency Moody’s has warned that a Greek pullout from the eurozone could lead to a downgrade for some of the currency area’s better-rated countries, including Germany.

A Greek exit from the eurozone would possibly bring down the ratings of triple-A rated countries, Moody’s warned late on Friday.

“Should Greece leave the euro, posing a threat to the euro’s continued existence, Moody’s would review all euro area sovereign ratings, including those of the Aaa nations,” it said.

The eurozone countries classified as triple-A by Moody’s are Austria, France, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, and Netherlands.

An increase in the likelihood of an exit would be damaging for investors with Greek assets, Moody’s said in the statement posted on its website.

“Greece’s exit from the euro would lead to substantial losses for investors in Greek securities, both directly as a result of the redenomination and indirectly as a result of the severe macroeconomic dislocation that would likely follow,” said the statement.

The statement noted that such a chain of events could “pose a threat to the euro’s continued existence.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain Will Seek European Union’s Help to Rescue Its Banks

The announcement came after a meeting Saturday of European finance ministers that had been called to discuss a bailout. A euro zone official, speaking on the condition of anonymity after the meeting, said the ministers had offered Spain up to 100 billion euros, or $125 billion, with the amount to be finalized when the results of the independent banking audits underway in Spain are available.

[Return to headlines]

Spain to Get £80billion in Emergency Loans From the Eurozone as Leaders Try to Prevent Banking Collapse Which Could Destroy the Single Currency

Eurozone leaders have agreed to give Spain up to 100billion euros in bailout loans to save its ailing economy.

The move makes the Mediterranean country the fourth in the Eurozone to receive emergency funds since the start of the financial crisis following grants to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The figure, which is the equivalent to £80billion or $125billion, was agreed during a conference call between finance ministers from each of the eurozone’s 17 countries today, according to sources in Brussels and Madrid. Spain is now expected to make a formal request for loans shortly.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Spending and Demographics

A sustained doubling of the unemployment rate is devastating to those who have lost jobs and for our economy. However, if you ask Spain, Greece, Italy, France, or Portugal, they would gladly trade places with us. Their full employment is an unemployment rate of ten percent and higher. This happens because their national priorities are stacked in favor of outrageous social programs and unionized labor, while the population becomes more slothful and happy to live on government handouts.

United States spends 14.8 percent of GDP on welfare programs and has not reached the welfare expenditures level of European socialist countries. France spends 28.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on welfare, Spain 21 percent, Greece 24.3 percent, Italy 24.4 percent, and Portugal 21.1 percent. There are European nations that spend more on welfare, such as Denmark (29.2 percent), Sweden (28.9 percent), Germany (27.4), and Belgium (27.2) but the economic situation in these countries is substantially different. (Statistical data source: as quoted in Forbes)


Joel Kotkin describes them most vividly. “In Madrid you see them on the streets, jobless, aimless, often bearing college degrees but working as cabbies, baristas, street performers, or — most often — not at all. Call them the screwed generation, the victims of expansive welfare states and the massive structural debt charged by their parents.” (The Daily Beast, June 4, 2012)

A young man with a psychology degree, who is working in the grocery store where I shop, was complaining one day that he could not find a job. A quintessential liberal with the agenda of environmental sustainability, social justice and equity, the mantra of the left, it has not occurred to him that the “hope and change” he voted for, his overt distaste for capitalism, love for communism and the murderous Che Guevara whose t-shirt he is wearing under his uniform, is what is dooming his prospects of finding a decent job. He bought his college advisor’s empty promise of a six-figure salary upon graduation, his professors’ socialist/Marxist indoctrination, and is now facing Realville.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


After No-Fly Problem, Passenger Walks Into U.S.

SDSU grad barred from entering U.S. crosses border at San Ysidro

SAN YSIDRO — An American-born Muslim student who was prevented from flying to San Diego from Costa Rica after being told his name was on the U.S. government no-fly list returned home Thursday evening after flying to Mexico and then walking across the pedestrian border crossing to his waiting family. Kevin Iraniha, 27, was met by his father, Nasser, brothers Jahan and Shervin, and several representatives from the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, including executive director Hanif Mohebi.

The council came to Iraniha’s aid this week after a friend referred the family to the organization, Mohebi said. Iraniha left Costa Rica on Thursday morning and flew to Mexico City and then to Tijuana. As he arrived across the border, he appeared tired but relieved. He was upbeat as he hugged his family. “I’m happy to be here finally in my own hometown,” he said. “This is very disappointing to happen to anybody.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

American People: Foreigners in Our Own Land

I’ve been watching for years as the United States has moved further down the road toward a system that embraces and resembles communism, but all the while, also possesses the characteristics of a corporate fascist state.

Stories of Chinese communist espionage penetrating U.S. military bases, laboratories, and academic institutions have been plentiful, as the People’s Liberation Army has sought to steal any sensitive information that could be used to improve China’s military surveillance and weapons systems.

The Cox Report to Congress dealt with many of those issues. Formally titled, U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China, this partially-classified report was released in January 1999. Despite the concerns outlined in the Cox Report, the situation has only worsened. Even more frightening, is the now undeniable complicity of those within federal, state, and city governments at opening up the U.S. — our economy, our infrastructure, our businesses, and our neighborhoods — to the People’s Republic of China.

Your writer watched in horror in 2009 as the Red Chinese raised their flag in our nation’s capitol, near the White House in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Maoist revolution. At the time this happened, I posed the question on my radio program, that if the United States tried to plant its flag in Beijing, how far would we get? Would they allow it? The answer is obvious. Then, why is the United States allowing the Red Chinese to plant their flag here?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Defeating the Jewish Alinskyites

Saul Alinsky, the godfather of subversive radical political action, had a very clear strategy for undermining and destroying his enemies: Infiltrate, divide and destroy.

Since his disciple Barack Obama was elected US president in 2008, Alinsky’s impact on Obama has received a fair amount of attention.

Less noticed has been the adoption of Alinsky’s methods by radical leftist Jews in the US and Israel for the purpose of undermining the American Jewish community on the one hand, and Israel’s nationalist camp on the other. This week we saw the impact of both campaigns.

The striking weakness of the American Jewish community was exposed on Tuesday with the Democratic primary defeat of Rep. Steve Rothman in New Jersey. In Israel we saw the impact of the campaign to undermine and destroy the nationalist camp with the defeat of the proposed legislation aimed at saving the doomed Givat Haulpana neighborhood in Bet El…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Jimmy Carter and World Chaos

Carter’s treatment of the Shah of Iran, Worldwide revolution of fundamentalist Islam

No one man has ever done as much damage to the United States and the world than James Earl Carter Junior, the Peanut farmer from Georgia.


But Carter’s treatment of the Shah of Iran was his crowning achievement in his war against the United States and the stability of the world as a whole.

The American administrations of Nixon and Ford stood shoulder to shoulder with the Shah in his fight to put down Islamic rebellions and offered him everything but nuclear weapons. Jimmy Carter toasted the Shah during a Tehran State visit on New Year’s Eve 1977 and declared that Iran was “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” Yet, even before that, the Carter administration had been undermining the Shah’s regime by demanding that he make major reforms immediately and not wait for more stability.


It was said that the Shah’s prisons contained as many as 3,000 political prisoners and that many of them were tortured. Yet loose on the streets they would have brought his reforms and human rights achievements in the country crashing down with an unspeakable Islamic revolution. He was forced to rule with strength and determination for the sake of the whole free world. But Carter did not have the intellectual ability to understand such things. He just thought that everybody should be nice and make friends. Eventually by use of threats to curtail aid payments and arms Carter forced the Shah to release many radical fundamentalists and terrorists from his prisons and they quickly came together to form the mob who finally brought down the Pavlavi dynasty and replaced it with the terrorist leaders we see today in Iran. Soon the mob of terrorists had multiplied so many times it was impossible for the Shah to continue to govern and he was forced to step down.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

“European” — A Dirty Word in Washington

La Stampa

“The economy has opened up a faultline in the Atlantic,” announces La Stampa, reporting on the impact of recent remarks by Barack Obama which imply that the poor management of the Eurozone crisis is to blame for the feeble outlook for growth in the US. “The urgency and frequency of President Obama’s drive to shake up Europeans is determined by immediate and more long-term reasons,” remarks the Turin daily. The former are linked to the US elections in November: now that Mitt Romney is almost certain to receive the Republican nomination, the campaigns, which are already in full swing, have been marked by the use of “Europe” as a dirty word deployed by candidates to discredit their adversaries, notes La Stampa.

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

Belgium: Muslim Teacher Recited Koran Instead of Calling Ambulance When Pupil Had Fit

A teacher of Islamic religion at the Athénée royal Uccle school [Brussels] was sacked on Friday because he had started to recite verses from the Koran instead of calling an ambulance when one of his pupils had an epileptic fit during the school break, report De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad.

Another sacking was decided on recently at the Athenée royal in Anderlecht, where a teacher of Islam declared that he would take homosexual students to an imam so that they could be exorcised.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Bulgaria: Stolen RPP Shipment Seized on Highway

103 shells stolen from Bezmer air-base

Some 103 rocket-propelled projectiles (RPP) were seized in a van near the town of Sliven. Most probably the shells have been stolen from the Bezmer airbase and the dangerous ammunitions were transported by two men.

“The operation was carried out by the police and we have started interrogations,” military prosecutor Colonel Hristo Tinev told the Standart.

The van was stopped on the road connecting Yambol and Sliven, very close to the newly built sector of the Trakia highway. The vehicle was loaded with 30mm uncontrolled RPP for which a counterfeited protocol was presented. Such weapons are used against airplanes and helicopters and they are extremely powerful and destructive. The mini rockets may easily destroy tanks and armored personnel carriers. The seized weaponry have most probably been stolen from Bezmer airbase with the help of people working there and they were supposed to be sold. The suspicions are that their planned destination was Syria where the national army and the opposition fight severely.

           — Hat tip: RR[Return to headlines]

EC Approves Major EU Co-Funded Project in Greece

(ANSAmed) — BRUXELLES, JUNE 5 — The European Commission approved the allocation of 180.9 million euros to build a major trunk road to connect the Aktio area with the Western North-South Axis in Greece. This is part of the priority projects presented by the Commission last November in order to accelerate the return of growth in Greece, by investing structural funds. Commenting on the decision, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said “this is an emblematic infrastructure project which will benefit the Greek economy. Our joint efforts to overcome financial and technical problems are progressively paying off This and other similar projects will contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the Greek people by creating immediate job opportunities”. The Aktio project totals 48.5 km, bypassing Lake Ambrakia. It foresees seven multi-level junctions, two same-level junctions and some 40 technical works. This project is part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will finance 180.9 million euros out of a total cost of 232.43 million euros. This new connection will improve driving conditions, reduce travel times and foster road safety.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

France: High-Speed Train But Low-Cost, Tickets Under 25 Euros

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, JUNE 5 — By the end of the year, even as early as this summer, the first low-cost high-speed trains will take to the tracks in France, enabling people to get from A to B fast but without excessive costs. Tickets will be priced at under 25 euros, and will only be available online, and will offer no chance of refunds. The trains will be single class and fewer services will be on offer. There will be no restaurant car, travellers will be permitted one item of luggage only (the second will be charged for) and sitting room will be tighter, and less comfortable than on regional trains. In this way French state railway SNCF hopes to fit 630 passengers on each train, 20% more than on its classic TGV. The idea has come from a drive to cope with competition from low-cost airlines, whose sometimes bone-pared costs are increasingly undercutting train fares. The greatest ‘weak point’ for the project, railway unions point out, is that, as with Ryanair, which flies from Beauvais airport more than one hour by bus from Paris, the new low-cost high-speed trains won’t be stopping at central stations. In Paris, for example, travellers will have to alight at Marne-la-Vallee, thirty kilometres to the east of the city, but conveniently situated for Disneyland Paris funpark.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Venice Church Bells to be Rung ‘In Moderation’

Archbishop issues decree after string of disputes

(ANSA) — Venice, June 8 — Venice church bells are to be rung in moderation, the city’s archbishop said Friday after a string of disputes about clanging that annoyed neighbours.

Msgr Francesco Moraglia issued a decree, effective June 24, regulating the “hours, duration, intensity and procedures” for bell-ringing in the lagoon city.

“Ringing will be inspired by criteria of moderation,” the decree said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Tax-Collection Agency Threatened in Southern City of Cosenza

Cosenza, 4 June (AKI) — Italian police were on Monday investigating a threat sent to the offices of Italy’s state tax collection agency in Cosenza, the main town in Italy’s southern Calabria region.

“We warned you, now you’ll see what happens,” read the letter, written in block capitals which arrived early on Monday at the Equitalia offices.

On 29 May, red paint was daubed on Equitalia’s offices in the seaside town of Ostia near Rome.

Equitalia has become a focal point for anger at government tax hikes and austerity measures aimed at taming Italy’s more than 1.9 trillion euro debt.

The agency has been repeatedly targeted in recent months as Italians chafe under stepped-up efforts to recover an estimated 120 billion euros in lost revenue from evasion.

Earlier in May, unemployed Italians in Sicily and Naples protested outside local Equitalia offices and on May 12, a Molotov cocktail exploded outside Equitalia’s Livorno office, one day after a parcel bomb was delivered to the Rome headquarters, site of a December explosion that tore off part of the general manager’s hand.

Prime minister Mario Monti has strongly condemned the attacks against Equitalia whose clamp-down is part of the government’s 20 billion-euro austerity plan that also brought higher taxes, cuts in public spending and record petrol prices.

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

Italy: Women Pours Boiling Oil Over ‘Cheating’ Egyptian Husband

Milan, 4 June (AKI) — Police in the northern city of Milan have arrested a 43-year-old Salvadorean woman who doused her Egyptian husband and former business partner with boiling oil for allegedly cheating on her.

The woman threw the pan of oil over her 37-year-old husband’s face and body early Sunday as he slept at their home in the Milan suburb of Baranzate.

The man’s screams of agony woke up the couple’s teenage children, who called emergency services. The woman is being held in Milan’s San Vittore prison after a court ruled she could re-offend if granted house arrest.

She claims to have discovered his infidelity from the contacts and text messages in his mobile phone and became suspicious after her husband often went out on unspecified ‘errands’ even though the pizzeria they had run together had closed down.

The woman faces charges of assault and grievous bodily harm.

Her husband is receiving treatment for first and second degree burns to his face and torso at Milan’s Niguarda hospital and is expected to be discharged in mid-June.

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

Nudists to Protest in Human Chain on Italian Beach

‘Repression’ unacceptable, say naturists

(ANSA) — Ravenna, June 4 — Italian nudists said Monday they would form a naked human chain in protest against fines accrued from police. The naturist group Aner in the northern city of Ravenna called recent police crackdowns on the Bassona beach “repression” and said they would link hands and arms to cover a kilometers-long distance and demonstrate against the charges on June 17.

“It’s to reclaim the free use of our historic naturist beach,” said Pascal Marcacci, a lawyer representing the group.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Sexual Depravity’ of Penguins That Antarctic Scientist Dared Not Reveal

Landmark polar research about the Adelie penguin’s sex life by Captain Scott’s expedition, deemed too shocking for the public 100 years ago, is unearthed at the Natural History Museum

It was the sight of a young male Adélie penguin attempting to have sex with a dead female that particularly unnerved George Murray Levick, a scientist with the 1910-13 Scott Antarctic Expedition. No such observation had ever been recorded before, as far as he knew, and Levick, a typical Edwardian Englishman, was horrified. Blizzards and freezing cold were one thing. Penguin perversion was another.

Worse was to come, however. Levick spent the Antarctic summer of 1911-12 observing the colony of Adélies at Cape Adare, making him the only scientist to this day to have studied an entire breeding cycle there. During that time, he witnessed males having sex with other males and also with dead females, including several that had died the previous year. He also saw them sexually coerce females and chicks and occasionally kill them.

Levick blamed this “astonishing depravity” on “hooligan males” and wrote down his observations in Greek so that only an educated gentleman would understand the horrors he had witnessed. Back in Britain he produced a paper (in English), titled Natural History of the Adélie Penguin. However, the section about the animal’s sexual proclivities was deemed to be so shocking it was removed to preserve decency. Levick then used this material as the basis for a separate short paper, Sexual Habits of the Adélie Penguin, which was privately circulated among a handful of experts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Grooming is a Particular Problem in Asian Communities’

Two Asian men — Mahfuzur Rahman and Abdul Hannan — have been convicted of raping or sexually assaulting four young white women after they picked them up in and got them drunk. The case of Rahman, 25, and Hannan, 36, has raised concerns that their victims, all from Rochdale, were failed by police and prosecutors when they first reported they had been attacked. Two of the four victims gave videotaped interviews, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, in which they described being raped by Rahman but criminal investigations were abandoned, leaving the rapist free to strike again.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Rahman went on to prey on a 17-year-old girl living in a children’s home, who he picked up in his car and sexually assaulted in a flat after giving her vodka. In June 2010 a 19-year-old woman was taken to a flat in Rochdale where she was plied with vodka before Rahman raped her while she pleaded for him to stop. In September last year, a 20-year-old woman was driven around Rochdale by Rahman and two other men, who got her drunk on vodka before she was raped at a flat by Hannan.

When officers from Greater Manchester Police arrested and cautioned Rahman on suspicion of rape last September, he replied: “Rape? Which one?” Rahman was found guilty on two counts of rape and one of sexual assault while Hannan was convicted of rape. Both men will be sentenced on 13 July. Greater Manchester Police said that it was referring “the decisions made in the earlier investigations” to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, said the status of women among some Asian men led to cases of white girls being sexually abused. Afzal said it should not pass unnoticed “that the perpetrators were Asian and the victims were not. Cultural baggage and the status of women among some men in these communities contributes to their disrespect for the rights of women,” The Telegraph quoted Afzal, as saying. “Exploitation happens in every community but these cases demonstrate that group grooming is a particular problem in Asian communities. I will not turn a blind eye to crimes in any community,” he added.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: An Addition to Labour’s Sensible Commentariat: Atul Hatwal

by Matthew Barrett

Last year I wrote about Labour’s thoughtful commentariat — the sensible lefties willing to accept the fact that cuts do need to be made, and willing to engage with the real political debate — as opposed to those irresponsible voices on the left who would condemn anything the Coalition does as “out of touch” “Tory cuts” made by a “Cabinet of millionaires”, and so on. One of the four I wrote about, John McTernan, has since left the British political scene, and is now working as Australian Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s communications director. However, a different sensible left-wing voice has emerged to take his place. Atul Hatwal is the Associate Editor of Labour Uncut, and I’ve collected below some of his best contributions to recent debate.


Hatwal draws attention to the “dirty little secret” involving Lord Ahmed — who allegedly offered a bounty for Barack Obama’s capture, while sharing a platform with a founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, suspected of carrying out the Mumbai bombings — and other “community leaders”. Hatwal writes:

“That Ahmed felt entirely comfortable backing a militant terrorist, and did not fear sanction from the Labour party when planning his attendance at the press conference, speaks volumes about the nature of the deal where the most despicable views can be supported, as long as the votes keep flowing and no one from the mainstream media notices. … This isn’t a failing of the current Labour machine. These deals were concluded twenty to thirty years ago and have been one of the party’s dirty little secrets for years.”


[JP note: The Tories have a few dirty little secrets of their own.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Cook’s Team is Scathing After BOA Snub

WORLD number one Aaron Cook’s failure to secure nomination for this summer’s Olympics has provoked a scathing response from his management company. After a two-day review of the selection process the British Olympic Association decided to ratify Great Britain Taekwondo’s choice of Lutalo Muhammad in the under-80kg division. It means Dorchester’s Cook, who will consider over the weekend whether to pursue legal action, will not take part at London 2012.

“Aaron is naturally incredibly disappointed with the BOA decision,” said a statement from the 21-year-old’s management company. “It is an absolute disgrace that a British world number one has not been selected for the London Olympics by either his governing body or Olympic Association. The STUK Taekwondo selectors should be ashamed of themselves.” Cook left the GB Taekwondo set-up a year ago to work outside the programme and his supporters have always felt this has worked against him.

“Since Aaron’s departure from their club the results are plain for everyone to see,” added the statement. “But Aaron’s results with his new team have not been good enough to justify his selection. Yet he is world number one, European champion and has beaten 10 of the top 15 athletes in the Olympic rankings in his most recent fights. What more could Aaron have done? Is the message that if you fund yourself and do not take Lottery funding then you cannot participate in the Olympic Games? UK Sport needs to ask and be asked some serious questions.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Killer of Finsbury Park Imam Judged Insane and Sent to Mental Hospital Indefinitely

The schizophrenic who strangled the blind Imam of a Finsbury Park mosque claiming he was the “anti-Christ” is legally insane, a court has ruled.

Hamza Boutouil, 25, also known as Aissa Menasria, was found not guilty of manslaughter by an Old Bailey jury and was sent to a mental hospital indefinitely. Boutouil savagely beat 39-year-old Sheikh Maymoun Zazour before strangling him to death with an ornamental cord at the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road, beside Finsbury Park station, last September. The Algerian national has never denied the killing, and following a three-day trial, he was judged unfit to plead by a jury.

Judge Paul Worsley QC made an indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act on Friday, June 1, and told Boutouil: “This death, as I’m sure you will accept, was a tragedy for his family and congregation. He was a popular and caring pastor.” Earlier, the court saw CCTV footage of Boutouil in altercations with a man and then two girls. In morning prayers at the Muslim Welfare House he shocked fellow worshippers by reading loudly from the Koran before he went to Mr Zazour’s room. Jonathon Turner, prosecuting, said: “They were in there together for about an hour, during which time the Imam was killed.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Man’s Facebook F-Word Blast

A MAN posted a racially offensive comment on Facebook during a group discussion about a Bury Free Press front page, a court has heard. Luke Janzen joined in a debate started by one of his friends about The Falcon pub, in Bury St Edmunds, being converted into a mosque, saying if that happened it would ‘be burned down’. When he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday, the 22-year-old, of Clay Road, Bury, pleaded guilty to sending an offensive message by public communication network.

Prosecuting, Colette Griffiths said the case was ‘an unusual matter’ which stemmed from Janzen posting a comment on March 17.

She told the court he wrote: “If there’s going to be a mosque in Bury then the f*****’s going to be burned down.” Janzen was arrested 10 days later after police researched the social networking site following complaints about abusive comments that had appeared on it.

He told police ‘well, we have all got our own opinions,’ said Mrs Griffiths. She added: “He said it was a silly thought, that he was thinking if there was a mosque there, someone was bound to burn it down and not that he intended to burn it down.”

Miss Griffiths told the court Janzen had admitted what he said was wrong and she asked for an uplift on his sentence to reflect the racial nature of the case. In mitigation, Claire Lockwood said Janzen was a man of previous good character, who lived at home with his mother and had been unemployed since March. She said: “A friend of a friend had a copy of the Bury Free Press and there was a discussion going on about it. He made a comment in response. He certainly didn’t mean that he was going to burn it down, or that he would be inciting someone else to do it, but what he meant was that someone might if there was a mosque in Bury.

“Since the offence, he’s come off Facebook — he’s decided it’s not a social network he wants to use,” she said. “He accepts that there should be freedom of religion and that we live in a multicultural society. He had no thought and no understanding of how far it would go when he made the comment,” she added. After interviewing Janzen, Carl Stoodley, from the probation service, told magistrates that Janzen was ‘very disgusted’ by what he had written and it did not reflect his normal thinking. “I would put the offence down to basic ignorance of how his comment would be perceived,” he said. Presiding magistrate, Sarah Hardingham, said the offence was important because it was made on a very public domain and was of a racial nature. Janzen received a 12 month community order, with 14 hours unpaid work, and was ordered to pay costs of £85.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Shops Prepared as EDL Get Ready to Descend on Rochdale for Rally

Rochdale shop owners are preparing ahead of tomorrow’s English Defence League march.

The far-right movement will descend on the town at 1.30pm to demonstrate against what they see as an expansion of Muslim extremism. Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk urged the town to continue as usual.He said: “Tomorrow’s ‘protest’ is nothing more than an attempt to stir up racial tensions and incite violence. The police are fully prepared to deal with this and the protest will be outside of the town centre, which will be open for business as usual. I would urge everyone to continue to support local shops and businesses.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Vatican: Church Lambasts Nun for Lessons in Masturbation, Other Sex Acts

Vatican City, 4 June (AKI) — The Vatican on Monday admonished an American nun’s book for containing ethic lessons on masturbation and other sexual acts that are “not in conformity with the teaching of the Church.”

Sister Margaret A. Farley’s “book contained erroneous propositions, the dissemination of which risks grave harm to the faithful,” said a Vatican statement, summarizing the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, once the office of the Inquisition and the Vatican branch run by cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was elected pope in 2005.

“Among the many errors and ambiguities of this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage”.

The Vatican contends the 2006 work, “Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” is wrong by stating that masturbation “usually does not raise any moral questions at all.”

The “moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action. … For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved,” the Vatican said.

Farley is a Christian ethicist, an emerita professor at Yale Divinity School.

The Vatican’s judgement means the book will be banned from Catholic universities.

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

Why Did Pope’s Manservant Keep Papers at Home Even After Coming Under Suspicion?

ROME — Investigations into the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, have revealed a succession of secrets within secrets. Questions are being asked about his role in the past few months after it had become known how confidential documents were leaving the confines of the Vatican. Days of extremely discreet checks to identify any accomplices, and in particular the instigators of the leaks, have failed to find an answer to the question at the heart of investigations into the Holy See’s “corvi” [“crows”, a nickname for malicious leakers — Trans.]. The key lies in the position taken by the man who spent years at the pontiff’s side. Why, even though it was common knowledge that the Vatican City gendarmerie was homing in on the source of the leaks, did the butler keep copies of papers ready for consignment in his own apartment?

Various theories have been mooted to explain this apparently suicidal behaviour but one appears more likely as it takes into account the outcome of the canonical trial Mr Gabriele now faces. Court proceedings could end with Mr Gabriele requesting the Pope’s pardon. According to this theory, the request would be granted because of a secret deal signed by Mr Gabriele some time ago in which he agreed to help investigators find the instigators and beneficiaries of the leaks. There is no proof that such a deal exists and nor were there any witnesses but an agreement would enable the Vatican authorities to identify the leaker’s Italian accomplices and stop them getting off scot free. To reconstruct this sequence of events, we have to go back six months to when the butler first came under suspicion as the source of various stories in the press, rumours that were denied very firmly. However a few weeks later, Gianluigi Nuzzi’s “Gli intoccabili” programme on La7 television produced some of Benedict XVI’s private correspondence. Consequently, the accusations that had initially been dismissed as defamatory acquired new substance.

Investigations were placed in the hands of Domenico Giani, the head of the Vatican gendarmerie. A number of lines of enquiry were followed since the letters had been dealt with by several offices. Surveillance and electronic eavesdropping were ordered and data on computer traffic was collated. However, the name of the “crow” appeared already to be known in the Pope’s inner circle. When the first leaked documents emerged, a trap was set to obtain conclusive proof. A copy of a document handled only within the papal apartments was inserted into some of the files. The document would not have required ratification by other offices or been sent to the secretary of state’s office and so would only have been within easy reach of those with access to the apartments. When it emerged that the document had left the confines of the Vatican, investigators knew the man they wanted was Paolo Gabriele…

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

Mediterranean Union

Tunisia: EU Parliament Working for Post-2013 Aid, Shultz

Future budget hinges on talks with member states

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, JUNE 5 — The European Parliament is working so that within the EU’s 2014-2020 budget “at least the same amount of funds will be ensured to development cooperation”, said EU Parliament President Martin Schulz after meeting with Tunisian Constituent Assembly President Mustafa Ben Jafar, who asked “European friends” for tangible support towards democracy building in his country. Getting such funds for international cooperation is by no means to be taken for granted amid the severe economic crisis within the European Union. Managing to avoid cutting them “depends on talks with member states and finance ministries”, said Schulz, who launched a clear message to European governments. “It is not enough,” underscored the European Parliament speaker, “to simply send foreign ministers to Arab Spring countries to congratulate them, when afterwards finance ministers vote to reduce aid.” The EU Parliament president’s message was essentially that the credibility of the EU itself is at stake in relations with the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, and that the EU must go beyond just speaking and start taking action.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egyptian Presidential Election: Leading Egypt to Democracy or Disaster?

As reported in the Egyptian press last week, American senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, asserted that Egypt’s recent parliamentary elections were conducted honestly and without fraud (, 5/25/12). Masrawy further recorded that Senator Kerry advised the Egyptian people to accept the results of the upcoming presidential election after the challenges of the past year.

Without commenting on the current Muslim Brotherhood majority in Egypt’s Parliament, the Senator urged the next president of Egypt to stand up for the people and added that the U.S. Congress will deal with Egypt’s next Islamist president openly, fairly, and without prejudice.

For those who fought for freedom and the overthrow of an oppressive authoritative regime, Senator John Kerry’s remarks, hailing from the beacon of freedom in the West, are devastating. What has passed so far as a democratic process in Egypt is not exactly what revolutionaries had in mind when 18 months ago pro-democracy liberty seekers took to the streets to bring down the tyranny of the Mubarak regime hoping to replace it—first by writing a new constitution and holding free elections — then with a new government by the people and for the people.

Now Islamists make up a majority in the Egyptian Parliament. Their presidential candidate, Mahmoud Morsi, is an Islamist. The opposition candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, is from the old regime, a military member and a Mubarak look-alike. Corrupted elections fraught with bribes — votes traded for oil, rice and potatoes—brought them about. All are advocates of Islamic Sharia law, a state religious system having nothing in common with democratic principles, now making the outcome for the people of Egypt a grim reality.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Libya: Diplomats Seek to End Row After Three Italian Fishing Boats Seized

Tripoli, 8 June (AKI) — Italy’s ambassador to Libya was on Friday tasked with resolving a diplomatic standoff after the North African country impounded three Italian fishing boats off its coast late on Thursday, ministry sources said.

Italy’s foreign minister Giulio Terzi ask asked its top diplomat in Libya, ambassador Giuseppe Buccino to negotiate “as soon as possible” the release of the three boats, which were impounded 30 nautical miles from the port city of Bengasi, the unnamed sources said.

The Libyans reportedly consider their the waters their jurisdiction and coastguard vessels approached the three fishing boats, tied them up and towed them into port in Bengasi.

The fishermen are being treated well, the owner of one of the boats, ‘Il Maestrale’ told Adnkronos on Friday.

“The crew members are all in good shape. Yesterday, the Italian consul general paid them a visit and they were allowed to sleep aboard, a very promising sign that a peaceable solution will be found,” said Vito Margiotta.

Italy’s consul general in the capital, Tripoli, Guido De Sanctis said after his visit that the fishermen were in good health.

Italian diplomacy was doing its utmost and using “every local contact” to pressure Libyan authorities for the fishermen’s early release, he told Adnkronos.

“They are totally safe,” he said.

“It’s not clear how long it will take to obtain their release, but our objective is to secure this soon. We’ll see if a fine has to be paid,” said De Sanctis.

The boats are part of a fishing fleet from Mazara del Vallo in southwestern Sicily that sparked a damaging diplomatic row two years ago between Italy and Libya when three of its vessels were impounded by authorities in the Gulf of Sirte on 10 June 2010, allegedly after entering Libyan waters.

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

Sharia Guardians Reviving Islamic Revolution in Libya

Hundreds of people have staged a mass demonstration in Benghazi’s liberation square in the latest show of force to demand the adoption of Islamic law (Sharia) in the newly liberated North African Mediterranean country.

A demonstration that might irritate the predominantly secular technocratic interim government and disappoint the western powers that supported the Libyan people getting rid of the former dictator Muammar Gaddadfi. chanting “The people want an Islamic state”, “the people want Sharia and staging a military parade, the protesters confirmed they would protect the sanctity of Sharia with their lives. Believing that all atrocities and misfortunes the country has been plagued with are due to Muslim’s desertion of Islamic traditions. The protestors who are described by some secular activists as radical Islamic groups argue that the one and only path for salvation is by clinging on the Islamic values.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tourism: Egypt Heads for Recovery, 2012 +35.9% Italians

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JUNE 8 — In the lead up to the summer season, comforting figures have come in for the Egyptian tourism sector, sparking a certain degree of optimism in the country. In April the Italian market saw an increase of 84.8% of visitors, from 40,275 to 74,431. In the first four months of 2012 the number of Italian visitors rose by 35.9%: 212,245 against the 156,120 in 2011. The figures are from the Egyptian tourism board, which underscored that travel agencies and tour operators have seen a clearly positive trend in the number of bookings (especially for the Red Sea area), “further confirming that recovery is well underway”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Tunisia Tells Imams to Stop Pushing Syria Jihad

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The spokesman for Tunisia’s presidency has called on Muslim clerics to stop inciting the country’s youth to go to Syria and fight against the regime. Adnan Mancer told journalists Friday that Syria needs political aid, not jihadists. A letter submitted by Syria to the United Nations last month gave the names of 26 alleged foreign fighters arrested in Syria, of whom 19 were Tunisian.

Mancer admitted the situation was a delicate situation since Tunisia withdrew its ambassador from Syria and expelled his counterpart from Tunis back in February to protest the bloody crackdown on the opposition by Damascus. Sadok Arfaoui of the Ministry of Religious affairs said there are around 100 rebel imams out of 4,700 flouting the official moderate line.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel to Decide on Settlement University

JERUSALEM — In the fraught atmosphere of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, an approaching decision on whether to award coveted university status to a college has taken on powerful political overtones. For critics of Israel’s policy of settling Jews in the West Bank, the upgrade of the “Ariel University Center of Samaria” into a permanent university would be a strong signal of what they say is creeping annexation of the hilly territory. For its supporters, upgrading the institution will be a crowning jewel of the government’s commitment to holding the West Bank, the heartland of biblical Judaism, captured by Israel along with east Jerusalem in the 1967 war.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Domestic Violence in Turkey Rife Despite New Law

More than a third of women in Turkey have experienced sexual and physical violence at some point. An anti-violence law introduced in March was watered down by Prime Minister Erdogan. Activists fear an erosion of rights.

Aisha is on the run from her six brothers. If they find her, they will try to kill her. Again. Seven years ago, they cornered the then 17-year-old and each fired a bullet. She had dared to run away from a forced marriage with a man at least twice her age. To conceal her identity, Aisha is not her real name.

“We have been protecting her for seven years. But if we make even just one mistake, just a tiny one, we will lose her.” Aisha’s lawyer Hülya Gülbahar spreads out her hands in a gesture of despair. Losing her client is her worst fear.

“She was trying to elope with her boyfriend. They killed him,” Gülbahar said.

The lawyer and women’s rights activist in her 40s has seen many such cases. She says they haunt her at night: Girls secretly married off before they reach the legal age of consent at 17; a 12-year-old raped by a husband three times her age. More than a third of women in Turkey over the age of 15 have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner at some point in their lives, according to Human Rights Watch. In rural areas, the figures are even higher, almost 50 percent.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Gulf: Flame Virus Detected in Oil-Rich States’ Computers

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, JUNE 5 — Flame, the sophisticated internet virus able to spy on computer files, listen in on Skype conversations and take photos without the computer’s user being aware of it, has been found even in some of the Gulf region’s oil-rich countries, reports the UAE daily The National.

Drawing a map of where the virus has been detected in the region is a study by Kaspersky Lab, the antivirus company which found it for the first time in Iran, and which has detected 11 “infections” in Saudi Arabia, two in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and one in Bahrain. There are over 500 infections not yet verified in the world, with at least 198 computers attacked in the Islamic Republic of Iran and 98 in the Palestinian Territories. Stefan Tanase, one of Kaspersky Lab’s top researchers, told the paper that Flame is a sort of spy kit which has “special interest” in AutoCad programmes used by engineers for industrial projects, from power stations to oil rigs. “If I were working in the energy sector,” Tanase said, “I would be worried.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Syria’s Ultimatum to Christians: “Leave Qusayr”

The message sent out by the military chief of the armed opposition has spread panic and lead to a Christian exodus

An exodus of Christians is taking place in Western Syria: the Christian population has fled the city of Qusayr, near Homs, following an ultimatum issued by the military chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba.

This is what local sources told Vatican news agency Fides, pointing out that since the conflict broke out, only a thousand of the city’s ten thousand faithful, were left and they are now being forced to flee immediately. Some of the city’s mosques have issued the message again, announcing from the minarets: “Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, ending Friday.” The ultimatum therefore expired on 8 June and spread fear among the Christian population which had started to regain hope as a result of the presence of the Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, who stopped off in Qusayr for a week to “pray and fast in the name of peace, right in the midst of conflict.”

The reasons for this ultimatum remain a mystery. Some say it is necessary in order to protect faithful from further suffering; other sources reveal “a continuity in discrimination and selective repression.” Others still claim that Christians have openly expressed their loyalty to the state and this is why the opposition army is chasing them away. Now Christian families in Qusayr have begun their exodus as displaced persons, towards the surrounding valleys and rural areas. Some have taken refuge in parents’ and friends’ homes in Damascus. Very few families have courageously decided to stay behind in their birth city but who knows what fate will meet. Fides sources have reiterated that groups of Salafi Islamic extremists within the armed opposition consider Christians as “infidels”; they confiscate their belongings, carry out mass executions and are ready to declare a “denominational war”.

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

Syria: US Sings to Syria: ‘We Will, We Will Bomb You!’

When they want something, the US and its allies will insist until they get it. That’s what they’re doing to Syria right now, where they NEED to give it a Libya-like treatment in order to further their Imperial Overdrive goals in the Middle East. Just as rock star Freddy Mercury & Queen used to sing “we will, we will rock you!!”, today’s US/UK/EU/Israeli war cry mantra goes something like this: “We will, we will BOMB you!!”. And if they can’t do the bombing “officially” themselves or through NATO as they’ve done in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia or Pakistan, then they’ll do the bombing through suitable proxies, especially their present favorite errand-boy Al-Qaeda.


Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Teach Jihad to Kids: Al-Zawahiri’s Wife to Women

Sana’a: The wife of al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has congratulated Muslim women for the role they have played in the Arab Spring and urged them to raise their children for jihad. “I congratulate all Muslim women for these blessed revolutions,” The Nation quoted from a letter written by Umaima Hassan Ahmed Mohammed Hassan.

“I advise you to raise your children in the cult of jihad and martyrdom and to instill in them a love for religion and death,” she wrote. In doing so, “each woman would raise her child to be a new Saladin by telling him ‘it is you who will restore the grandeur of the Islamic nation and you will liberate Jerusalem’.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Taliban ‘Kill Four French Troops’

Nato forces in Afghanistan say four foreign soldiers have been killed in an attack in the east of the country.

Nato’s Isaf force did not provide details, but Afghan officials say the four were French soldiers based in Kapisa province. Taliban insurgents said Saturday’s attack was carried out by one of their suicide bombers. France is due to withdraw all its combat troops by the end of this year, two years before the main Nato pullout. Violence has risen across Afghanistan in recent weeks, with the Taliban vowing to target both the Afghan forces and the 130,000 foreign troops remaining in the country. Afghan officials say the suicide bomber in Saturday’s attack approached a French Nato convoy wearing a burka. France is currently the fifth largest contributor to the Isaf force, with nearly 3,300 French soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The deaths — if confirmed — would bring to 87 the total number of French deaths in the country since 2001.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: ANA Mentorship, It’s a Win-Win for All

FORWARD OPERATING BASE LINDSEY, Afghanistan — Finding time for one’s hobbies in a war zone is often a challenge. For Master Sgt. Derek Dotson and the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team Stability and Transition Team, when a hobby happens to align with Afghan National Army mentorship, it’s a win-win for all. The Combat Service Support advisory team, which is partnered with 5th Kandak, 1st Brigade 205th ANA Corps, knew they would face a tough challenge with their Afghan counterparts when they arrived at FOB Lindsey. It had been many years since the 5th Kandak, 1/205th had received sustained mentorship in all staff areas and the kandak was facing a severe maintenance backlog, a shortage of supplies, and an unrelenting operation tempo. One challenge presented to Dotson, the sergeant major mentor and CSS Team non-commissioned officer in charge, he didn’t expect to hear, help us rebuild a mosque.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Burma Police Clash With Muslim Protesters in Maung Daw

Protesters in the western Burmese town of Maung Daw have clashed with police over a sectarian dispute.

It was not immediately possible to confirm casualties. However, eyewitnesses told the BBC that police opened fire on demonstrators. The clash occurred when members of Muslim community took to the streets in their hundreds in protest at the killing of 10 Muslims allegedly at the hands of a local Buddhist group. It follows a week of sectarian strife. Tensions rose after the alleged rape of a Buddhist woman, blamed on members of Maung Daw’s Muslim minority. There are differing accounts of casualties in Friday’s protests but none of the reports could be independently confirmed. The protesters reportedly attacked several buildings in the town, including a hospital where a doctor and his wife were said to have been injured. One witness told the BBC that two people had been injured. Other reports say police fired on crowd and put casualty figures much higher.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Muslims in India Split Over Girls’ Wedding Age

Muslim girl can marry once she attains the age of puberty

New Delhi/Kolkata: A Delhi High Court ruling that a Muslim girl can marry once she attains the age of puberty has sharply split the community, with clerics backing the law and virtually everyone else against it. Muslim religious leaders across the country are pleased with the court edict that based its judgement on the Sharia, the moral code and religious law of Islam. While criminal laws in India apply to all equally, communities are allowed their own personal laws. “According to Mohammedan law, a girl can marry without the consent of her parents once she attains the age of puberty,” Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and S.P. Garg said recently. The bench was ruling on a Delhi Muslim girl’s contention that she had married on her own free will when she was 15 years old and that her mother’s charge that she had been abducted be dropped. She won the case.

Well-known Bengali writer Syed Mustafa Siraj is among those who are shocked that a court has given legal sanction for puberty-marriage when the official minimum age to wed in India is 18 for women and 21 for men. “A lot of girls attain puberty at age 12. Does it mean they can be married off when they are barely 12-13? I protest against this ruling,” Siraj told IANS in Kolkata. Bengaluru-based writer Farida Rahamatullah agreed: “Whatever the personal laws of Muslims, Hindus or Christians, it is a crime to let a 15-year-old girl marry and begin a family life when she ought to be studying, playing and dreaming of a career and a job. In fact the law courts should protect the girls and ensure they exercise the right to marry or not till they turn major at 18 years. Fifteen is too young an age to decide their future as they will be immature, indulgent and vulnerable to the hazards of a family life.” Patna-based Maulana Anisur Rahman Qasmi, however, hailed the ruling. “There is nothing wrong in it,” he said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Martial Law in Myanmar District

Authorities imposed martial law in an area of Myanmar’s western Rakhine State on Saturday after Muslims allegedly torched hundreds of houses and killed at least five people. State media announced that Maung Thaw district, about 230 kilometres west of Yangon, was under a dusk-to-dawn curfew. “Nineteen shops, 386 houses and one hotel were burned,” said a statement on President Thein Sein’s official website. “Four men and a woman were killed with knives.”

The exact number of casualties was hard to determine as many villagers had fled to the hills, villagers said. “Around 100 people were injured,” said Zaw Than, a resident of Maung Thaw. “Soldiers are still searching for victims who are hiding in the hills.” Troops were fully deployed and military doctors were sent by plane to the area on Saturday morning. The rampage was reportedly sparked when Muslims attacked a Buddhist funeral procession.

Six days earlier, a mob killed 10 Muslims in nearby Taunggup to avenge the rape and murder of a local woman, allegedly by Muslims.

Police detained three Muslim suspects. The mob of 300 people attacked a bus carrying some Muslim passengers from nearby Thandwe to Yangon, killing 10 and destroying the vehicle. Muslims are a minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. Rakhine State borders Bangladesh, which is mostly Muslim.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Police Have a Sneaking Fear

ISLAMABAD, June 8: Appearance of Malik Ishaq, a feared leader of outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, in neighbouring Rawalpindi sent the capital police scurrying on Friday to arrest him if he tried to sneak into Islamabad.

Only the previous night the Islamabad administration had banned his entry into Islamabad under the Anti-Terrorism Act for a week, after police intelligence said the fiery leader planned to address a congregation in some mosque of the city.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan Drifts Toward China as US Loses Patience

Islamabad has reacted angrily to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks that the US is “losing patience with Pakistan” over Pakistan’s reluctance to dismantle safe havens for terrorists on its soil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Far East

China to Launch Module for Space Rendezvous

China is planning to put three people into space later this month to dock with a module already in orbit. Among the crew may be the first female Chinese space traveller.

China has announced it will put astronauts into orbit later this month when it launches the module Shenzhou 9. The crew may include China’s first female space traveller, according to Chinese government news agency Xinhua.

The Shenzhou 9 will dock onto the Tiangong 1 module which was launched last year. The two crews will live together. The Chinese government has not specified how long the mission will last.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Write Stuff Leads us Into the Light

by Tony Wright

A DOCUMENTARY screened on SBS television this week reminded those fortunate enough to see it that the art of communicating by the written word gave the West the wonder known as the Renaissance. East to West: Islam and the Renaissance documented something that has been known for centuries, but which has fallen from the wider consciousness of those accustomed to a European view of history.

Far from a sudden flowering of thought, knowledge, art, architecture and science widely considered to have happened in places like Florence and Bologna as if by near magic following Europe’s long intellectual and artistic decline known as the Dark Ages, there was a vastly more inspiring gestation. The stewards of Europe’s rebirth were Arabic scholars. At the soul of this thrilling story is the lesson that civilisation is defined by the ability of humans to communicate intricate ideas with clarity.


[JP note: Wright is wrong.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somali Islamists Offer 10 Camels as Bounty for Obama

The United States offers millions for information leading to the capture of the world’s most wanted terrorists. A Somali militant group has purportedly countered with an offer of camels for U.S. officials. Al-Shabaab has placed a bounty of 10 camels for President Barack Obama and two camels for information on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

An audio statement posted on jihadist websites purportedly from Al-Shabaab jeered news that the United States is offering millions of dollars for information on seven key members of al-Shabaab through its Rewards for Justice program.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anomie and Immigration

European nations such as France and Germany acknowledged through their respective leaders that the darling liberal philosophy of “multiculturalism” has failed miserably across Europe.

Associate Professor of Political Science Jonathan Laurence at Boston College believes the culprit for the failure of Islamic immigrants’ integration in Europe to be “anomie.” (The New York Times, “How to Integrate Europe’s Muslims,” January 23, 2012)

The dictionary defines “anomie” as a societal instability caused by the erosion and abandonment of moral and social codes. Muslims perceive the absence of a supporting moral and social framework in the country they immigrate to and express their displeasure through a social alienation and feelings of disorientation, which result in violence and hatred.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Italy: Two Montenegrin Gypsies Arrested for Forcing 10-Year-Old to ‘Marry’

Naples, 4 June (AKI) — Police Monday in southern Italy arrested two Gypsy men from Montenegro who allegedly abducted a 10-year-old Montenegrin girl and tried to force her to marry one of them.

Police in Gugliano in Campania near Naples charged the two men, aged 48 and 23, with kidnap and grievous bodily harm.

The men allegedly abducted the girl in a local Gypsy camp, seizing her by the wrists and shoving her into their shack, where they tried to ‘persuade’ her to marry one of the pair, named as M.B.

The girl’s 37-year-old mother called emergency services after she was kicked and punched by the men as she tried to stop them kidnapping her daughter.

In Italy, the legal marriage age is 18, or 16 with a court permit.

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

UK: Teacher Reveals She Has Class of 33 Children — And None of Them Speak English

A TEACHER has told how she was left to cope alone with a class of 33 pupils — none of whom could speak English.

Jane Rowe, 38, told how was given no support or training during a heartbreaking year she spent with the primary sevens.

Her shocking story is a stark example of the pressure dedicated staff at Scottish schools are enduring in the face of crippling budget cuts.

Jane, who has 16 years’ experience and works in a Glasgow primary school, had an entire class made up of EAL pupils — children with English as an additional language.

She told the Record: “My last class was made up almost entirely of eastern European children and not one of them could speak English.

“Some had a few words while others had none at all and for many of them it was their first experience of a school.

“Some also had learning and behavioural issues on top of their language challenges like dyslexia and ADHD.”

She added: “Take a second to imagine being given a class of more than 30 children that you couldn’t communicate with and being told to teach them something.

“I had no support whatsoever and was given no resources and no training to help these children.

“It was an incredibly stressful environment in which to work.

“Extra money has to be diverted to these EAL pupils because with increasing migration across Europe, their numbers are growing rapidly.”

Jane’s experience will be all too familiar to hundreds of teachers across the country.

According to statistics released earlier this year, schoolchildren in Scotland now speak a total of 134 languages.

In Renfrewshire’s classrooms alone, 68 languages are spoken — including 17 African dialects, Polish and Cantonese. The number of children with English as an additional language rose from 26,801 to 30,160 between 2008 and 2010.

Although that number has since dropped to 24,255, each individual child costs the Scottish education system an extra £281 a year to teach them English.

The bill for EAL teachers stood at more than £6.9million in 2010-11 and has reached £20.7million over the past three years. Carolyn Ritchie, who has taught for 19 years, agreed with Jane about the problems.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Is Jesus a Socialist?

When the question is posed: “Is Jesus a socialist?” the clear answer is “of course not!” The claim that Jesus was a socialist was recently posed by Gregory Paul in The Washington Post who tries to argue for a biblically mandated socialism from the early chapters of Acts. [1] Paul’s claims are nothing new and have likely arisen out of the overall debate our nation is involved in concerning socialism vs. free markets. President Obama and his crowd want socialism, while the rest of the nation wants to move away from government control of the economy. What Is Socialism?

We must first start this examination with an accurate definition of socialism. The Oxford English Dictionary defines socialism as “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” [2] Since it is a political and economic theory it always means that in reality the government owns or regulates the economy. When the government regulates but does not own the means of production, it is called fascism, as in Nazi Germany. When the government owns and controls the means of production it is called communism, as in the former Soviet Union. Both versions fit within the broader idea of socialism.

Where does the Bible teach such a political and economic theory? According to Gregory Paul it is expounded in the early chapters of Acts. Paul, not the Apostle, says that Acts 2 and 4 depict socialism.


There is not one shred of socialism in the book of Acts and here’s why. First, if socialism is in Acts there could have been no private property since government ownership of all property is at the heart of socialism. Where in Acts was the government involved, except in attempting to suppress the preaching of the gospel? These were not government officials who are dealing with the early church, they are the apostles. Since the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament, there must be continuity between the two on any matter. Wayne Grudem observes:

“The Bible regularly assumes and reinforces a system in which property belongs to individuals, not to the government or to society as a whole.” [6]

Grudem further notes that individual property rights are assumed in the eighth and tenth commandments and throughout the case law given them through Moses. How can one steal or covet a neighbor’s possessions if there is not personal property? In the books of Acts, how can one sell personal property and give the money to the apostles if there were no personal property? If there were no personal property, then the government would have owned everything and they would not have had property to sell. If the apostles were somehow the heads of a communal gathering, then they would have had control over everyone else’s property and not the individuals who sold their property.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Time Magazine Pushes Death Agenda: Remove Feeding Tubes From the Dying Elderly (And Get a Cash Bonus!)

(NaturalNews) TIME Magazine is peddling a death agenda propaganda piece with a new issue that features these words on the cover: “HOW TO DIE.”

Inside, the magazine promotes a cost-saving death agenda that encourages readers to literally “pull the feeding tubes” from their dying elderly parents, causing them to dehydrate and die. This is explained as a new cost-saving measure that drastically reduces return hospital visits by the elderly… yeah, because dead people don’t return to the hospital, of course.

The article is part of the new soft-sell, hard-kill agenda of the mainstream media which also featured an article on Newsweek Magazine entitled, “The Case for Killing Granny.” [url]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


A New Global Elite is on the March

by Damian Thompson

Have you come across “OES syndrome”? The letters stand for Overeducated Elitist Snob, and if you don’t know what that means let me draw your attention to the front benches of the House of Commons. OES syndrome is an American term, coined by the US political scientist Charles Murray to describe the clustering of wealth, power and — crucially — intelligence at one end of the social spectrum. Murray’s new book Coming Apart: The State of White America is not as controversial as The Bell Curve, the 1994 volume in which he and Richard Herrnstein compared race and IQ. But its conclusions are every bit as alarming.

A hundred years ago, says Murray, most Americans in the top five per cent of cognitive ability had ordinary occupations. They were very clever shopkeepers, farmers, housewives and factory workers. But they didn’t somersault over their peers. One reason is that they couldn’t marry very smart people. High intelligence was scattered evenly across America, so a gifted farm worker might have to travel 100 miles before he met a woman as bright as he was. Instead, he married an ordinary local girl, and their children, regressing to the mean, were only slightly cleverer than their schoolfriends.

The explosion of college education changed that. Universities plucked bright kids out of their home towns like a tornado and suddenly they found that they weren’t in Kansas any more. Young people hooked up with equally intelligent partners and passed on two sets of smart genes. This mobility opened up Ivy League universities to competition from ultra-bright candidates. The old-money aristocracy at Harvard, Yale and Princeton shrank, but the average IQ at those universities soared — and with it the earning potential of alumni. The newly elite students married each other and the result, says Murray, is a hard core of Overeducated Elitist Snobs. Members of this supercharged class don’t just separate themselves from the poor: they’re quarantined from “everybody who isn’t as rich and well educated as they are”. They also produce clever, rich children by marrying brains and money (which go together these days).


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]