Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120716

»Chicago Police Sergeant: “Tribal Warfare” On the Streets
»Google’s Marissa Mayer Tapped as Yahoo’s Chief
»Mosque in Hazelwood Opens With Fanfare
»U.S. Olympics Uniforms Were Made in China, And Harry Reid is Mad
Europe and the EU
»France: Hijab War ‘Increases Hate Crimes Against Muslims’
»French National Front to Sue Madonna Over Marine Le Pen Swastika Image
»How Political Correctness is Transforming British Education
»Number of German Births Hit Post-War Low
»Terzi Commits to Support Albania’s EU Candidature Status
»UK: Arrests at EDL Demonstration
»UK: Inspector Throws Out Mosque Plan
»UK: Leftists Assault Police, Set Fires at EDL March, Media Covers for Them
»UK: The Tale of Tuggy Tug and Our Welfare State
»UK: Women’s Centre is Struggling After ‘Extremism’ Claims
»Vatileaks Reveals a Past That is Not Yet Past
»Bosnia: Iran and Turkey ‘Supplied Weapons to Local Muslims During War’
North Africa
»Egypt: Copts Launch ‘Christian Brotherhood’ In Challenge to Islamists
»Egypt: Swinging Facebook Couple Sentenced to Prison Terms
»U.S. Tourists Abducted in Egypt Freed
Middle East
»Kuwait: Policeman Rapes Asian Inside Patrol Vehicle
»Lavrov: Russia Feels “Blackmailed” By West Over Syria
»Official: U.S. Ship Fires at Boat Off Dubai; 1 Dead
»Sordid Trade in the ‘Summer Brides’: Arab Tourists Are ‘Buying Underage Egyptian Sex Slaves’ To Serve Them for Just a Few Months’
South Asia
»Another High Profile Attack in Afghanistan
»Attack on Police Barracks in Pakistan, 4 Taliban Killed
»Attack, Explosion in Southern Afghanistan Kill 2 NATO Service Members, 3 Afghan Men
»Father Buries Deformed Newborn Daughter Alive in Pakistan
Far East
»Taiwan: Annette Lu, Former Vice President, Acquitted of Corruption Charges
Australia — Pacific
»New Zealand’s John Key Sets Out His Practical Conservatism, Emphasising Family, School and Work
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Ethiopia Mosque Sit-Ins See Deaths, Arrests — Protesters
Latin America
»In Mexico, Central American Immigrants Under Fire
»Italy: Coastguard Intercept 127 Egyptian and Palestinian Migrants
»Pakistan Wedding Rush to Beat New UK Visa Laws
»Surge in British Population Expected in Census Results
»The Importance of Being Orwell


Chicago Police Sergeant: “Tribal Warfare” On the Streets

Chicago is in the grips of a deadly gang war. At least 275 people have been killed in the city so far this year and many more have been shot, many of them innocent bystanders to the gang violence. Among the latest victims were 12- and 13-year-old girls shot Tuesday night. They survived.

Sgt. Matt Little leads one of the teams in Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit. There are about 200 such officers in the city — versus 100,000 gang members.

“Almost all the violence we’re seeing now is from the gangs,” Little said. “When there’s a shooting we’ll respond to the shooting. We’ll figure out where we believe the most likely area for retaliation is and we’ll work that area trying to both prevent retaliation and possibly build a case on offenders.”

CBS News rode along with Little’s team as dusk fell on poor neighborhoods of vacant lots and high anxiety.

“The gangs have lost their hierarchy, so to speak, and without a chain of command, there’s really nobody keeping things in check,” Little said. The leaders are mostly in prison — or dead. Those left are young, reckless, and often terrible shots.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Google’s Marissa Mayer Tapped as Yahoo’s Chief

Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next C.E.O. of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America.

The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook.

Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. More recently, Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was put in charge of the company’s location and local services, including Google Maps, overseeing more than 1,000 product managers. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

With her appointment as the president and chief executive of Yahoo, Ms. Mayer joins a short list of women in Silicon Valley to hold the top spot. The elite club includes Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Virginia Rometty, the head of IBM. Another senior women in Silicon Valley, Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook’s chief operating officer.

[Return to headlines]

Mosque in Hazelwood Opens With Fanfare

HAZELWOOD • With the hope of serving more than 3,000 people as the St. Louis area’s largest place of worship and community center for Muslims, the Dar Aljalal Mosque opened Sunday with fanfare. Several elected officials and community activists were on hand to praise the community center’s goals to promote cultural understanding and help families with jobs and education. Afterward, more than 250 people celebrated with food and games for children. “This project has been 20 years in the making,” said William Masheleh, spokesman for the new mosque. “It’s vital to our community and in building a great future for our families. … Our main goal is to make sure our kids are raised well, are successful and making a positive impact in today’s society.” The metro area has more than 15 mosques serving about 50,000 Muslims, including about 8,000 who live in north St. Louis and north St. Louis County, Masheleh said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Olympics Uniforms Were Made in China, And Harry Reid is Mad

The revelation that the U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms were manufactured in China has prompted an outpouring of patriotic rage from U.S. politicians.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Hijab War ‘Increases Hate Crimes Against Muslims’

France’s war on Muslim women hijab has led to an increase in the rate of hate crimes against Muslims in the country, an activist tells Press TV.

In an interview with Press TV, Marwan Muhammad from Collective Against Islamophobia said that the hate crimes against Muslims increased “because some of the perpetrators feel empowered in last few years. We have seen a huge increase in hate crimes on these cases. 92 percent of the victims are women,” Muhammad said. “Whenever a Muslim woman tries to practice her religion and engage with the rest of the society, French ideology is to ban her from doing so and we claim that we do this for the sake of women’s freedom… which is not the real definition of freedom,” he added. France has an extremely strict law forbidding displays of religion they deem ostentatious.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French National Front to Sue Madonna Over Marine Le Pen Swastika Image

France’s far-Right National Front yesterday that it plans to sue Madonna after the singer showed a video at a Paris concert that contained an image of the party’s leader with a swastika on her forehead.

The video has been shown at other concerts on the singer’s tour, and the party has expressed its outrage before, warning that it would take action if the video were shown in France. On Saturday night, Madonna played it at the Stade de France. National Front spokesman Alain Vizier said on Sunday that the party would file a complaint in French court next week for “insults”. Party leader Marine Le Pen is briefly pictured in the video during a montage in which famous faces — or parts of faces — morph one into the next. Soon after Le Pen’s face flashes up, Madonna’s face follows with Hitler’s moustache.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

How Political Correctness is Transforming British Education

by Soeren Kern

In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.

In Scotland, 30 non-Muslim children from the Parkview Primary School recently were required to visit the Bait ur Rehman Ahmadiyya mosque in the Yorkhill district of Glasgow (videos here and here). At the mosque, the children were instructed to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith which states: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” Muslims are also demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to end negative attitudes about Muslims.

British schools are increasingly dropping the Jewish Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a report entitled, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.

British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem: lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

In an effort to counter “Islamophobia” in British schools, teachers now are required to teach “key Muslim contributions such as Algebra and the number zero” in math and science courses, even though the concept of zero originated in India.

In the East London district of Tower Hamlets, four Muslims were recently jailed for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls; and 85 out of 90 schools have implemented “no pork” policies.

Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslim students. Hundreds of schools have adopted a “no pork” policy, according to a recent report by the London-based Daily Telegraph.

The culinary restrictions join a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing hundreds of British primary and secondary education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law.

The London Borough of Haringey, a heavily Muslim district in North London, is the latest school district to switch to a menu that is fully halal (religiously permissible for Muslims).

The Haringey Town Council recently issued “best practice” advice to all schools in its area to “ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Number of German Births Hit Post-War Low

The number of births in Germany fell to a post-war low last year despite government incentives meant to reverse a population decline in the European Union’s biggest economy, and analysts blamed a lack of sufficient child care support. A third of all babies born in Germany, still the EU’s most populous member state, came from immigrant families, the analysts said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Terzi Commits to Support Albania’s EU Candidature Status

(AGI) Rome — After a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with his Albanian colleague Edmonf Panariti, Foreign Minister Guido Terzi said that Italy is committed to supporting Albania’s EU candidature status in every possible way. Terzi also said, “We believe that this it an objective, and in our country’s best interest, to ensure that the European Union confirms Albania’s candidate status, since this country is making significant efforts, also as far as internal policies are concerned, to comply with al the conditions posed by Brussels.” Albania’s Foreign Minister Edmond Panariti shared these views, emphasizing how the Balkan country is making important progress in implementing reforms.

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

UK: Arrests at EDL Demonstration

A controversial English Defence League (EDL) demonstration and a major opposition rally have been praised for passing peacefully despite 11 arrests. Up to 300 far right campaigners marched through Bristol in protest at what it claims is the “islamification” of the city.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Inspector Throws Out Mosque Plan

PLANS for a new mosque in Blackpool have been thrown out for the second time. The bid to convert four units on Waterloo Road, South Shore, which had previously operated mainly as take-aways, has been turned down at appeal. Planning inspector Michael Moffoot backed a council decision to reject the application due to traffic concerns. In his report he said the scheme “would severely harm highway and pedestrian safety.” He added he had “significant concerns regarding the Friday lunchtime prayers when some 80 to 90 people would attend the mosque.” Mr Moffoot said he feared this would be “likely to cause severe disruption on a weekly basis.” He added “demand and competition for parking space in the area would be intense” and the subsequent access problems would be unacceptable so close to a busy footway and junction.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Leftists Assault Police, Set Fires at EDL March, Media Covers for Them

Pamela Geller has a full report, including video, here. An excerpt: Despite the promise of violence, death threats and disruption by Islamic supremacists and their leftist tools, the EDL successfully marched in their Freedom rally, and maintained a calm and peaceful assembly. The EDL marched for freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, individual rights and equal rights under the law.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: The Tale of Tuggy Tug and Our Welfare State

Charles Moore reviews Among the Hoods by Harriet Sergeant (Faber & Faber) .

Mainly thanks to Dickens, we carry in our heads an idea about how badly the Victorian authorities treated the poor. We think of starving workhouses, brutal schools and violent jails. The bosses exploited their posts for gain. We also believe that things have got better: we don’t have workhouses nowadays, and we don’t transport boys to Australia for stealing a handkerchief. Corporal punishment, once the daily tool of harsh administration, is a criminal offence. There have, indeed, been some improvements, particularly in material conditions; but what Harriet Sergeant’s wonderful book brings home is how we have substituted a new form of cruelty, just as devastating as the old.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Women’s Centre is Struggling After ‘Extremism’ Claims

A COMMUNITY centre alleged to have links with Islamist extremist groups has been left ruined by the ‘false accusations’, one of its leaders has claimed.

Rita Gibbins, treasurer of Burton Women’s Centre in Dallow Street, Horninglow, spoke out six months after Staffordshire Police, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council first made the accusations. “Since the accusation was made and it went on the front page of the Burton Mail, we have heard nothing,” she said. “No-one from the police or councils has visited us since. It has become really difficult to get new members and get funding.” The three organisations cut funding and staff support to the centre, which has a predominantly Asian membership, after it was alleged people associated with it had ‘links to groups that promote Islamist extremism’.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Vatileaks Reveals a Past That is Not Yet Past

“Wojtyla power” is slowing Benedict XVI’s reform in the Curia

The latest developments in the Vatileaks scandal and the interrogations of the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, reveal a Holy See with a “double bottom”: old diplomatic guard against a new order; Wojtylians versus Ratzingerians. Indeed, the Roman Curia’s past is not passing and is hindering Benedict XVI’s reforming spirit. “Wojtyla power” endures. Despite the switch in operational roles due to age reasons, the Holy See is still dominated by the big shots that stayed on after the John Paul II era.

Next week, formal interrogations of Paolo Gabriele will conclude. Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed the imminent conclusion of the preliminary investigation phase today. This does not mean that the preliminary sentence of a remand or an acquittal will be given immediately but I hope it will be by end of July or beginning of August.” If Gabriele is put on remand, the formal debate procedure would begin in September. In the meantime, he is being held in the Vatican Gendarmerie.

John Paul II’s powerful personal secretary, Stanislao Dziwisz, was promptly promoted as Cardinal of Cracow, but other Wojtylians still remain in the Roman Curia and they are making their influence over papal bureaucracy felt. For example the dean of the Sacred College, Angelo Sodano and pro-Wojtyla cardinals Leonardo Sandri, Giovanni Battista and Jean-Louis Tauran. They are the leaders of the so-called “diplomatic school” which is at the helm of the ecclesiastical Academy in Rome’s Piazza della Minerva. The papal embassies which weave the network of Vatican relations across the globe are home to nuncios loyal to Sodano, such as Luigi Ventura (France), Pietro Parolin (Venezuela), Gabriele Caccia (Beirut) and Piero Pioppo (Cameroon). Set against the old diplomatic guard, since 2006, is the current loyal to the Vatican Secretary of State, the Salesian canonist, Tarcisio Bertone. Members of this current include the Curia cardinals and Salesian brothers Raffaele Farina and Angelo Amato. Crucially, Bertone’s lot have an influence on Vatican finances.

Indeed, the financial “troika” is made up entirely of cardinals who are linked to the Secretary of State, Giuseppe Versaldi (President for the Prefecture for economic affairs), Domenico Calcagno (President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See) and Giuseppe Bertello (President of the Vatican City State Governorate). Then there is Bertone himself, who presides over the supervisory commission of cardinals in charge of monitoring the Vatican bank’s activities. The current papacy is the first in almost a century and a half to have two figures with no diplomatic background as is heads. Neither Ratzinger nor Bertone come from the Holy See’s diplomatic service. Nevertheless, Benedict XVI immediately proved he was a reformist, intent on changing the Curia around, doing away with decades of conspiracies of silence and consolidated monopolies in strategic sectors such as health and geopolitics. His aim has been to safeguard “non negotiable values”, namely the family, life and freedom of education…

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


Bosnia: Iran and Turkey ‘Supplied Weapons to Local Muslims During War’

The Hague, 16 July (AKI) — Iranand Turkey were among countries which supplied weapons to Bosnian Muslims during the bloody1992-1995 war, defying a United Nations embargo, the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic heard Monday.

Prosecution witness, David Harland, who served with UN peacekeepers in Bosnia during the war said the weapons from Iran were shipped through Croatia, which retained a portion for itself.

“Turkey also supplied weapons by low-flying planes,” Harland told the UN’s International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, where Mladic is on trial.

The Unprofor peacekeeping force was aware of the violations of UN embargo, but had no mandate to stop it, Harland added.

The shipments were going on “with the knowledge of the United States and other countries,” Harland said.

Mladic, 69, has been charged on eleven counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was arrested north of Belgrade a year ago after 16 years in hiding. He denies the charges.

Mladic’s trial was adjourned last Thursday after he complained of health problems and was rushed to hospital. But it resumed on Monday with cross-examination of Harland, who is the second prosecution witness.

Mladic had suffered three strokes while on the run and his health has seriously deteriorated, raising fears that he could die before the trial is over.

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

North Africa

Egypt: Copts Launch ‘Christian Brotherhood’ In Challenge to Islamists

Cairo, 5 July (AKI) — A group of minority Copt activists in Egypt have formed a new political grouping, the Christian Brotherhood, Arabic satellite TV network al-Arabiya reported on Thursday.

A Cairo-based Coptic human rights lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhla is behind the Christian Brotherhood, whose mission is to present a non-violent challenge to Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood since it captured the presidency.

The election of Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi in June as Egypt’s first democratically elected president paved the way for Copts to form their own religious party, according to the Christian Brotherhood’s founders.

“The fact that Egypt is led by the Muslim Brotherhood spurred us to turn our idea into reality. We share their philosophy that it’s possible to get into power without violence,” Coptic activist Amir Ayad told the al-Youm al-Sabaa website.

“We have political and social objectives and will monitor all instances of discrimination towards Christians in Egypt and will combat religion-based violence,” he added.

Copts form around 10 percent of the population in Muslim-majority Egypt and have frequently been the target of attacks by Muslim hardliners and claim they are victims of discrimination as well as violence.

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

Egypt: Swinging Facebook Couple Sentenced to Prison Terms

7 and 3 years each for adultery, incitement to adultery

(ANSAMed) — CAIRO, JULY 16 — A swinging Egyptian couple was sentenced to several years in prison for adultery and incitement to adultery, court sources said today. The husband, an accountant, was sentenced to 7 years and his wife to 3 years in prison for organizing parties with 3 other swinging couples through Facebook, the sources said.

The husband told judges he got the idea when he saw a couple from one of the Gulf countries organizing meetings between swingers on Facebook, and then convinced his wife, who initially refused.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

U.S. Tourists Abducted in Egypt Freed

(CBS/AP) Two American tourists and their Egyptian guide who were kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday have been released, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has confirmed to CBS News.

Rev. Michel Louis, 61, a Boston pastor, and Lissa Alphonse, 39, of Everett, Mass., had been abducted, along with their guide, Haytham Ragab, as their tour group was traveling on a church trip to Mount Sinai.

The hostage-taker, an Egyptian Bedouin named Jirmy Abu-Masuh, told the Associated Press that he had handed the three over to security officials near the northern Sinai city of el-Arish on Monday after he was promised that authorities were working on his uncle’s release.

“We are a people of mercy and they don’t have anything to do with this,” Abu-Masuh said, referring to the Americans.

Gen. Ahmed Bakr, head of security in North Sinai province, confirmed the release and said the three were now in the protection of security officials in Sinai. In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell also confirmed their release and thanked Egyptian authorites.

Abu-Masuh had said he would not free the two Americans until his uncle was released from jail. He said his uncle was detained for refusing to pay the police a bribe.

Abu-Masuh also vowed to take more hostages, of different nationalities, if his demands were not met…

[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Kuwait: Policeman Rapes Asian Inside Patrol Vehicle

KUWAIT: An Asian resident reported that a policeman raped her inside his patrol vehicle in Mishref, said security sources. Case papers indicate that according to the woman’s report, she was stopped by a police patrol while walking in Jleeb after midnight. She added that after seeing her ID, a policeman forced her into the patrol and took her to Mishref where he raped her inside the car, gave her his mobile number and left. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress.

           — Hat tip: RR[Return to headlines]

Lavrov: Russia Feels “Blackmailed” By West Over Syria

(AGI) Moscow — Russia feels “blackmailed” by the West, which in Moscow’s opinion is attempting to link the extension of the mandate of U.N. observers in Syria to an approval of using force against the regime in Damascus. Foreign Minister Sergei lavrov said, “We are very sorry to see here elements of blackmail effectively stating that if Russia doesn’t vote in favor of a U.N. resolution under Chapter 7, the West will refuse to extend the mandate for observers in Syria.” Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter implicitly includes the possibility of resorting to military force, for example, in order to protect U.N. peacekeeping forces or to create a humanitarian corridor.

Lavrov added, “We believe that this is a dangerous and counter-productive attitude, because using observers as a bargaining chip is unacceptable.” .

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

Official: U.S. Ship Fires at Boat Off Dubai; 1 Dead

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy says a security team aboard one of its ships fired on a small boat after it disregarded warnings and raced toward the vessel near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali..

Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, says sailors aboard the USNS Rappahannock issued a series of warnings Monday before resorting to lethal force using a .50-caliber machine gun.

A U.S. consular official and an Emirati rescue official in Dubai told the Associated Press that one person was killed and three were wounded in the shooting. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the incident between the two allies.

Dozens of police and other Emirati officials crowded around the white-hulled boat, which sat docked after the incident in a small Dubai port used by fishermen and sailors.

The boat appeared to be a civilian vessel about 30 feet long and powered by three outboard motors. Similar boats are used for fishing in the region, though Iran’s Revolutionary Guard also employs relatively small, fast-moving craft in the Gulf.

Rescue workers were seen carrying one person in a body bag off the boat and placing it in an ambulance as fishermen looked on. Officials moved the boat from the harbor shortly afterward.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Sordid Trade in the ‘Summer Brides’: Arab Tourists Are ‘Buying Underage Egyptian Sex Slaves’ To Serve Them for Just a Few Months’

Wealthy tourists from the Persian Gulf are paying to marry under-age Egyptian girls just for the summer, according to a report. These temporary marriages are not legally binding and end when the men return to their homes in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The tourists pay a ‘dowry’ to poor families through intermediaries with prices ranging from £320 to £3,200.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Another High Profile Attack in Afghanistan

An Afghan Minister survived an insurgent roadside bombing on Sunday, the third attack on high profile officials in three days, said a provincial Governor. Higher Education Minister Obaidullah Obaid was travelling between the northern provinces of Baghlan and Kunduz when his motorcade hit a roadside bomb, similar to those used by Taliban insurgents. The Minister escaped unhurt but two policemen escorting his convoy were wounded, Baghlan Governor Munshi Abdul Majeed told AFP, blaming the blast on the Taliban. In a separate attack on Sunday, a twin bombing wounded 14 people in Logar province south of Kabul. The second explosion hit security forces as they gathered to investigate the first one, police said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Attack on Police Barracks in Pakistan, 4 Taliban Killed

(AGI) Dera Ismail Khan — A kamikaze command of Taliban, dressed in burqas, attacked a police barracks in north-west Pakistan.

The command, dressed in long burqas to hide vests packed with explosives, attacked the barracks in Bannu. During the attack, which lasted 3 hours and involved both the Pakistani police and army in heavy fighting, four militants were killed. A fifth has been arrested by security forces. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Taliban from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group and left three policemen wounded. One of these, initially thought dead, is in coma.

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

Attack, Explosion in Southern Afghanistan Kill 2 NATO Service Members, 3 Afghan Men

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two troops with the U.S.-led international military coalition and three Afghan men died Monday in violence in southern Afghanistan, local and NATO officials said. The Afghan men died when their car hit a roadside bomb in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province, said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Razaq.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Father Buries Deformed Newborn Daughter Alive in Pakistan

(AGI) London — Police in Pakistan have arrested a man accused of burying his deformed newborn daughter alive. The baby was born on Thursday in Khanewal, Eastern Punjab. The The Mail on Sunday reported that her father, Chand Khan, who could now face the death penalty, has confessed. It would appear at this stage that, after seeing the baby in hospital, Khan told family and friends that she had been stillborn and that a funeral was being arranged. During the funeral ceremony, however, the baby began to cry, giving the lie to his story.

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

Far East

Taiwan: Annette Lu, Former Vice President, Acquitted of Corruption Charges

In 2007, Lu, the Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun and Foreign Minister Mark Chen had been accused of using public money and falsifying receipts. Acquitted due to lack of evidence.Three were DPP members acquitted, the party disliked by the community of businessmen and Beijing. Trial is the result of “a historical flaw” and a “political conflict”.

Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Former vice president Annette Lu (see photo) and two of Chen Shuibian’s cabinet members have been declared innocent by the court in Taipei for lack of evidence on charges of corruption and falsification of documents.

Lu, Yu Shyi-kun, secretary general of the then President Chen, and Mark Chen, a former foreign minister, were accused in 2007 of abuse of office and use of public money for personal expenses with false receipts.

Lu was Chen’s deputy during 2000-2008 period, the woman to hold the highest public office in Taiwan. Human rights activist and former political prisoner, Lu was briefly DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) candidate in presidential elections this year, but then withdrew.

According to the judgment, Lu and Yu did not manipulate state funds, the expenses incurred by them fell within the established budget ceiling and above the amount both claimed.

From the beginning the DPP — to which the three acquitted belong — said that the charges were “politically motivated” aimed at undermining the presidency of Chen Shuibian, hated by the community of businessmen and Beijing.

Chen Shuibian, also accused of corruption, is serving a sentence of 17 years and six months.

Yesterday, after the judgment, in a ??public statement, Annette Lu said that hers is a case of “historical flaws” and “political conflict”.

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

Australia — Pacific

New Zealand’s John Key Sets Out His Practical Conservatism, Emphasising Family, School and Work

By Tim Montgomerie

The international governing politician who David Cameron is closest to is New Zealand’s 51 year old, 38th Prime Minister, John Key. Mr Key is no firebrand, reforming conservative. He prides himself on his pragmatism and after a long period of Labour rule he was re-elected at the end of 2011. His National Party’s support increased from his first victory, when it won 44.9%, to 47.3% last November. Earlier this month Mr Key gave a landscape speech on his political philosophy. In an address to Ausatralia’s Menzies Research Centre, in honour of John Howard, he set out his core beliefs.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Mosque Sit-Ins See Deaths, Arrests — Protesters

(Reuters) — Protesters against government interference in religious affairs staged the latest of a series of mosque sit-ins in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday, saying police had arrested dozens in the run up to this weekend’s African Union summit.

Two activists told Reuters the sit-in — in protest at the government’s promotion of the moderate Al Ahbash branch of Islam over other doctrines — had already been surrounded by police although there had been no clashes as yet on Sunday.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Latin America

In Mexico, Central American Immigrants Under Fire

Neighbors on this tiny, sun-soaked street know each other’s names. They pray together at a church with stained-glass windows that they can see from their front steps. But for years, they say, immigrants have been pushing their community apart.

Residents here say they stopped feeling safe when strangers started lingering on street corners and leering at locals. They created neighborhood watch patrols to keep crime in check.

“It’s not that we’re against immigrants,” Osvaldo Espinosa says. “We just want them to get rid of that house.”

‘Train of death’ drives migrant American dreamers

It’s the kind of complaint heard often these days in small-town America or on blocks in big U.S. cities struggling with a flood of foreign residents.

But this house is in Mexico, where activists warn that fierce anti-immigrant sentiment in some places has become just as strong as it is north of the border.

More than 100 immigrants from Central America arrive daily in Lecheria, this working-class neighborhood outside the country’s capital. Most are Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans who don’t stay long; they are stowaways on cargo trains heading north to the United States.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Italy: Coastguard Intercept 127 Egyptian and Palestinian Migrants

Bari, 16 July (AKI) — Coastguard have intercepted a boat off the southern Italian coast with 127 would-be illegal immigrants on board, who claim to be Egyptians and Palestinians.

The 20-metre boat was spotted overnight in the Adriatic by an aerial patrol between Bari and Lecce in Italy’s Puglia region.

All the migrants were male and they included several minors and seven alleged Egyptian people-smugglers, who were arrested.

Seven of the migrants needed hospital treatment in Bari.

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

Pakistan Wedding Rush to Beat New UK Visa Laws

Tough new visa rules have sparked a wedding rush in Pakistan with couples racing to beat a deadline for bringing husbands and wives to Britain.

In the first week of July, wedding halls, English classes and immigration consultants said they had all seen a surge in people preparing for new lives in the UK. They were trying to beat rules which came into force on July 9 setting a minimum income of £18,600 a year for anyone hoping to bring a foreign spouse into the country from outside Europe — an increase of about £5000 for most applicants. The spike in applications has seen visa processing times double in some cases — from 12 to 24 weeks — as the UK Border Agency struggles to cope with the numbers, according to its website.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Surge in British Population Expected in Census Results

The UK population has grown by more than three million in the past 10 years, census results are expected to show tomorrow.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish the first findings from its once-a-decade national headcount, based on a survey of all 25 million households. Experts believe it will show that the population rose to more than 62 million last year, from 58.8 million at the time of the last census in 2001. The 2011 census will reveal the full impact of Labour’s immigration policy during the party’s 13 years in power, including the decision to allow Poles and other eastern Europeans free access to the UK’s labour market when the European Union expanded in 2004.


[Reader comment by mefatha on 15 July 2012 at 11:23 PM.]

Can you imagine having your children in a class where many of the children do not speak English, where the meat they serve is Halal and Christianity is regarded with disdain. This is common in Kabul, Islamabad and London.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


The Importance of Being Orwell

by Christopher Hitchens

At various points in his essays-notably in “Why I Write” but also in his popular column “As I Please”-George Orwell gave us an account of what made him tick, as it were, and of what supplied the motive for his work. At different times he instanced what he called his “power of facing unpleasant facts”; his love for the natural world, “growing things,” and the annual replenishment of the seasons; and his desire to forward the cause of democratic socialism and oppose the menace of Fascism. Other strong impulses include his near-visceral feeling for the English language and his urge to defend it from the constant encroachments of propaganda and euphemism, and his reverence for objective truth, which he feared was being driven out of the world by the deliberate distortion and even obliteration of recent history.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]