Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120722

Financial Crisis
»Departing IMF Economist Blasts Fund for Eurozone ‘Failure’; Lagarde is ‘Tainted’
»Der Spiegel: IMF Wants to Halt Aid to Greece
»Draghi: The Euro is in Absolutely No Danger
»Europe is Threatening the World
»Germany: SPD Leader: The Euro Will Stay But Some Countries Will Exit
»Italy: Return to Lira ‘Unlikely’ Claims Berlusconi
»S&P Suspends Rating for Sicily, Now “Ready to Cooperate”
»Spanish Parliament Seeks Power to Crackdown on Protestors
»Spiegel: IMF to Provide No New Funds to Greece
»Study: Super-Rich Use Tax Havens to Hide $21 Trillion
»Man’s Counterterrorism Course Riles Florida Muslims
»Shady Details of Marxist “Earth” Organizations: NM Wilderness Alliance
Europe and the EU
»Burgas Massacre: Bomber Had Accomplice Who Triggered Bomb
»Italy: Dell’Utri Alleged to Have Blackmailed Berlusconi. Former PM Paid for Silence in Court
»Italy: Green Activists Sent to Trial Over High-Speed Train Link Clashes
»PDL: ‘False That Berlusconi No Longer to be Candidate’
»Spain: WWF Expells King Juan Carlos After Elephant Hunting
»The EU: A Socialist Mummy
»UK: Lags’ Fury at Muslim Fast Food
»UK: Troops Falling in With the EDL
North Africa
»Explosion Destroys Egypt-Israel Gas Pipeline
Middle East
»Kuwait Police Bust High-Tech Vice Ring — ‘Foreign’ Girl in Custody
»Qatar to Buy US Helicopters, Missiles, Press
»Turkey Battles to Repatriate Antiquities
South Asia
»India: Kerala: The (Perceived) Threat of “Love Jihad”
»Indonesia: Twenty-Nine Cannibals Arrested for Eating Penis Soup and Brains
»Pakistan: Fighter Jets Bomb Taliban, At Least 15 Dead
»Three NATO Soliders Killed in Afghanistan
Far East
»South China Sea: Chinese Fleet of 30 Vessels Arrive at Spratlys
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Kenya: How 7/7 Bomber’s Home Counties Widow Became the World’s Most Wanted Woman
Culture Wars
»Labour Shock Over Anti-Gay Jibes at Euro Socialist Camp Where Croatian Delegates Threatened Violence
»Lethal Narcissism

Financial Crisis

Departing IMF Economist Blasts Fund for Eurozone ‘Failure’; Lagarde is ‘Tainted’

A senior economist at the institution spearheading the bailouts of three eurozone countries has lambasted its lack of leadership and said its first female chief is not fit for the job.

In a letter obtained exclusively by CNN and addressed to Shakour Shaalan, dean of the executive board of the International Monetary Fund, 20-year veteran Peter Doyle says he is “ashamed to have had any association with the Fund at all.”

Doyle, a former advisor to the IMF’s European Department, which runs its programs for Greece, Portugal and Ireland, argues the body’s failure to deliver timely and sustained warnings to the region’s dithering politicians had led to widespread suffering for those living in stricken countries and the risk of worse to come.

The institution’s lack of decisive action, Doyle says, has left “the second global reserve currency (the euro) on the brink.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Der Spiegel: IMF Wants to Halt Aid to Greece

(AGI) Berlin — The International Monetary Fund wants to halt economic aid to Greece. Der Spiegel writes that senior IMF figures have already informed EU authorities of their intention. In consequence Greece is likely to default in September. Currently, the troika of the IMF, EU and ECB is examining the way in which Athens is implementing the agreed reform programme, but according to the Hamburg based magazine ‘it seems clear that the Greek government will not manage to reduce public debt to 120% of GDP by 2020’.

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

Draghi: The Euro is in Absolutely No Danger

(AGI) Rome — The euro “is in absolutely no danger,” said ECB president, Mario Draghi, in an interview with Le Monde.

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

Europe is Threatening the World

Bill Emmott

We in the northern hemisphere are entering our summer holidays in a gloomy mood, partly because we are being joined in our gloom by some of the emerging economies of the southern hemisphere. But the most important word to bear in mind, the one that is really determining the attitudes of financial markets and even of corporate managements, is not gloom. It is risk. If you were to just look at the newly revised economic forecasts released by the International Monetary Fund this past week, you might focus only on gloom. The IMF cut its estimate of global economic growth in 2012 to 3.5%, thanks to slower growth in China, India and Brazil, but also thanks to the euro-zone’s recession. The IMF forecast a drop in euro-zone GDP this year of 0.3%, but falls of a worrying 1.9% in Italy and 1.5% in Spain. This follows global growth in 2010 of 5.3% and in 2011 of 3.9%, so plainly the trend is gloomy and downwards. The United States looks relatively healthy at 2% forecast growth this year, twice as fast as Germany (and ten times Britain’s stagnant 0.2%), but even that is too slow to have much impact on unemployment as both the US population and its labour force are growing. Yet these sort of numbers take me back in time. During my time as direttore of The Economist, I remember publishing a front cover, I think in September 2002, describing the world economy as “in the doldrums”, by which I meant it was like a sailing ship that was not moving because there was no wind. This was based on IMF forecasts of growth in 2002 and 2003 even slower than the ones it has just made. So what happened? The world between 2002 and 2007 in fact had the fastest five years of economic growth it had enjoyed in more than 40 years. It would be nice to think that could happen again, and that we would all turn out to have been much too pessimistic. It isn’t impossible: the emerging economies are probably only in a temporary slowdown, caused by their efforts to reduce price inflation, and the United States has a remarkable ability to reinvent itself, as it is now doing with its oil and gas boom.

Yet let’s be realistic: it isn’t likely. And the big reason doesn’t lie in China or in the United States. It lies in risk, or rather in the feelings that companies and investors now have about risk. Even though a war had started in Afghanistan in 2001 and was going to start in Iraq in 2003, actually companies in those days did not feel that in their businesses, in their markets, in their investments, that the risks were large. But they do now. Of course, investors and managers always worry about risk. That is their job. But the difference now is that the range of risks feel much wider, the range of possible events dramatically broader, than they did in 2002. The Arab Uprising, with civil war now under way in Syria, is one example, especially when combined with the tension over Iran’s nuclear programme: this makes the price of energy even more unpredictable than usual. The welcome and helpful fall in oil prices that occurred in recent months has been partially reversed, as a result. Concerns about China’s economy, and about its political stability following the scandal and murder accusations surrounding Bo Xilai, former mayor of the Chicago of China, Chongqing, fall into a similar category. The worry about China is exaggerated, in my view: the government’s capacity to support growth through monetary and fiscal policy remains strong. But at a time of general nervousness about risk, some companies do seem to be holding back their investments out of worry about China’s future. Even so, the biggest source of worry is much closer to home. It is Europe. The problem is not simply the fact that government debts are huge, that growth is non-existent and that there is a basic disagreement between the debtor and creditor countries about how the euro should be run. Those things are important, of course. But the real problem is that the range of possible outcomes looks so wide. How can a company plan its investments to take into account the possibility of Greek withdrawal from the euro? What percentage probability should it give to the chance that other countries might leave the euro, or that the currency might collapse altogether? What should companies think about the next Italian elections, with Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi both thinking aloud about whether Italy should leave the euro? The intellectual, or analytical answer, may be that the chances of Greek exit are high, but that the chance of other countries leaving or of a complete collapse are very low. The chance of Italy leaving the euro and defaulting on its debts is non-existent: every Italian bank would immediately collapse. Notions one often hears in countries outside the euro, especially America, of the currency splitting into two, with different common currencies for northern and southern Europe are, in my view, virtually inconceivable. Our difficulty right now, however, is that intellectual and analytical answers are not enough. Corporate boards and financial institutions have to make decisions.

So what they are doing, increasingly, in response to this uncertainty about the euro, and about Italy, is not to invest at all. They are sitting on their cash, or putting it in low-yielding, seemingly safe places such as German Bunds. This process is becoming self-fulfilling. Cash is seeping away from euro-zone economies and, for different but related reasons, from the British economy too. Investors are not doing in Greece what they would normally do after a financial crisis, namely rushing in to hunt for bargains. They think prices could fall further later, and that Greece will have a further crisis. If there is one thing that governments, especially European ones, need to think about during their holidays it is how to reduce these perceptions of risk. How can companies and investors be convinced that the range of possible outcomes is not as wide as they fear? There is plenty of cash available. It is just not being spent.

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

Germany: SPD Leader: The Euro Will Stay But Some Countries Will Exit

(AGI) Berlin — The Euro is here to stay even if not all of the Countries now in Euroland will remain in it. This is the fear expressed by the former SPD Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrueck who is the likely challenger of Angela Merkel in next year’s race for Germany’s Chancellor. In an interview to the ‘Bild am Sonntag’ newspaper, the Social-Democratic leader explains that “in some instances I have increasing doubts that all the Countries that now belong to the Eurozone can remain in it. I really can’t see how some Countries will be able to solve their lack of competitiveness”.

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

Italy: Return to Lira ‘Unlikely’ Claims Berlusconi

Rome, 16 July (AKI) — Itay’s trade balance has worsened since it joined the single European currency but a return to the lira is improbable, former premier Silvio Berlusconi told German daily Bild in an interview on Monday.

“With the euro, Germany’s balance of trade has improved, while Italy’s has worsened. However, I think a return to the lira is unlikely,” Berlusconi.

In the remarks, Berlusconi appeared to back-track on recent euro-sceptic comments that it wouldn’t be bad for Italy to leave the 17-member single currency alliance.

The 75-year-old three-times prime minister resigned in November amid an out-of-control debt crisis which raised the possibly of Italy defaulting on its 1.9 trillion-euro debt load. Such a move would have threatened the future of the euro.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported last week that Berlusconi wants to run for prime minister again in polls due by Spring 2013 and came to the decision to run after concluding he has enough popular support to win.

Last week, Berlusconi was seen jogging in Rome and is reportedly studying issues in preparation for a fresh run for the Italian premiership.

The billionaire media tycoon will forego a summer vacation at his Sardinia estate to stay at his villa near Milan and plot his election campaign, according to Corriere.

Despite a series of sex and corruption scandals and the debt crisis, Berlusconi’s conservative People of Freedom party is still the Italy’s most popular, according to surveys.

Former European Union commissioner Mario Monti is currently leading a technocrat government appointed to implement cost cuts and reforms to rein in the world’s fourth-biggest debt load and boost confidence among international investors. Its mandate expires in 2013.

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

S&P Suspends Rating for Sicily, Now “Ready to Cooperate”

(AGI) Rome — S&P confirmed a BBB+ long-term rating for Sicily.

Yet the rating agaency has suspended it, owing to lack of the data needed to ensure an adequate “monitoring”. The region is ready to provide all the required information to Standard and Poors’. “The suspension is due to the agency requiring more time to assess the data forwarded by the regional government’s central accounting department”, regional head accountant Biagio Bossone said, commenting S&P’s press release and confirming they will cooperate. “The regional government — he said — will fully cooperate and will provide all useful data and information to the agencies whilst organising technical meetings that, as scheduled, will be held in September with the agencies’ managment representatives. The regional government has also enforced an economic-financial recovery plan, together with the state, in order to consolidate its economic policy and increase its reliability in terms of debt and rating”.

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

Spanish Parliament Seeks Power to Crackdown on Protestors

(ANSAMed) — Madrid, July 19 — Spain’s parliament introduced a motion to reinforce security at “demonstrations and concentrations of citizens” Thursday, as protests toward government austerity measures to cut 65 billion euros from public spending drew crowds in Madrid.

The motion would introduce a new crime to the penal code — that of “urban violence” committed during demonstrations and meetings — as well as possible “preventative” imprisonment for menacing behavior such as possession of dangerous materials, possession of tools that could be used for illegal acts, and concealment of identity by donning ski masks, head scarves and the like.

The initiative, which drew bitter criticism from left and center parties, also proposes non-prison penalties for organizing “activities that alter public order” via Internet, such as diffusing information intended to promote participation in protests.

“Activities that alter public order” would also be redefined to include passive resistance and disobedience of authorities, proposes creating a national register of perpetrators to track repeat offenders.

The motion drew bitter criticism from Spain’s center and left opposition parties. Pedro Jose’ Munoz, a spokesperson for the leftist PSOE party, called the motion “a precedent that recalls the penal code of Franco”, referring to Fancisco Franco, a nationalist dictator who ruled Spain from 1936 through the early 1970’s.

Munos added it was an “absolutely unnecessary” change to the “law that governs the right to demonstrate and to meet”, because it risks the “criminalization of all those who in these days are demonstrating against the unjust measure passed by the government.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spiegel: IMF to Provide No New Funds to Greece

The German news magazine Spiegel reports that the IMF has told the EU it will provide no additional funds for Greece. The report has sparked fresh fears that Greece could fall into bankruptcy by the autumn.

A report by a German news magazine on Sunday sparked fresh concerns about the possibility of Greece being forced into insolvency.

In an article published on its website, Spiegel cites unnamed senior European Union sources in Brussels who told the news magazine that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had signaled it would not contribute to any further aid for Greece.

According to the report, this makes the possibility of Greece going bankrupt more likely, and it could do just that as soon as September.

The report comes ahead of a planned visit to Athens by a team of auditors from the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF. They are to conduct another inspection of the new government’s economic program to determine whether Greece is doing enough to comply with the terms of its second international bailout to merit receiving the next tranche of funds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Study: Super-Rich Use Tax Havens to Hide $21 Trillion

A sum the size of the United States and Japanese economies combined is being hidden in tax havens by the world’s wealthiest individuals, a new study reveals.

A major new study has revealed that at least $21 trillion (17 trillion euros) of unreported private financial wealth was being held by the world’s super-rich in tax havens around the world at the end of 2010.

Former McKinsey & Co Chief Economist James Henry conducted the research for the Tax Justice Network, a coalition that campaigns against tax avoidance and tax havens.

The study, entitled “The Price of Offshore Revisited” focused only on financial wealth rather than non-financial assets such as property, so the numbers are thought to be conservative.

“This new report focuses our attention on a huge ‘black hole’ in the world economy that has never before been measured — private offshore wealth, and the vast amounts of untaxed income that it produces,” said Henry.

The study drew on data from the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations, central banks, the Bank for International Settlements and national treasures.

In the face of daily headlines over financial bailouts and crises, the study is bound to raise questions over how to access such undisclosed wealth and eliminate tax evasion.

“This at a time when governments around the world are starved for resources, and we are more conscious than ever of the costs of economic inequality,” Henry said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Man’s Counterterrorism Course Riles Florida Muslims

CAPE CORAL —— There’s a call to dialogue, from a small Muslim community to law enforcement officials, echoing across Florida.

It’s a call for understanding, tolerance and education, to cross cultural boundary lines and request leaders on both sides to ask questions, share a meal and discuss concerns.

The call comes in response to one Cape Coral man’s at-home counterterrorism training business, which he’s used to train thousands of law enforcement officials around the nation for a decade.

This month, at two news conferences held by the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, representatives from 30 mosques and Islamic centers and other individuals around the state announced they’d sent a letter to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, denouncing Sam Kharoba and calling for him to be removed from teaching courses.

They allege Kharoba makes “sweeping generalizations” about Muslims and say he’s not qualified to teach, let alone train police about their religion. They want the chance to set the record straight and don’t understand why, if local police departments wanted information on Islam, they didn’t come to the source.

Kharoba, 46, works out of an unassuming single-family home in south Cape Coral, with trimmed hedges and landscaped grass. Teaching cops to get inside the mind of a terrorist has become his full-time job.

He tends not to abide political correctness, not when talking about an enemy he says he knows.

“You can’t talk about Nazism without Germans, nor can you talk about communism without Russians,” Kharoba said. “(In counterterrorism) you can’t fight tactics; you have to fight the ideology and motive. When the media and the government worry about what word to use or not to use, like radicals, extremists or jihadists, at the end of the day it’s all political mumbo jumbo.”

It’s hard to find a picture of Kharoba on the Internet, aside from one grainy YouTube video from 2008. He’s not someone who likes to be in the public eye because of the nature of his work with his organization, Counter Terrorism Operations Center.

The former software engineer holds counterterrorism training sessions, charging hundreds for his lectures and expertise. He has no official certification in counterterrorism or degree in Middle Eastern studies, let alone experience in the military or law enforcement. His academic background consists of a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and a minor in mathematics from Louisiana State University, where he also completed some graduate work in mathematics.

Kharoba bases his qualifications on his life experience in Amman, Jordan, where he was born and lived for 16 years and where his father worked with the cultural attache of the British Embassy. Later in life, he worked developing software to fight credit card fraud and founded a technology company. He worked on a program created to help the intelligence community by doing forensic analysis on foreign national names and identifying name disguises.

According to information gathered via a Freedom of Information Act public-records request by the Council on Islamic-American Relations, between 2005 and 2012, Kharoba held at least 21 seminars in Florida. The Cape Coral Police Department sponsored one in August 2009 and two similar classes were held in Fort Myers, in 2009 and 2010, though records don’t show whether Kharoba taught them. Other sponsors on the list are police departments through the state and public safety and police institutes.

The Fort Myers Police Department has not used Kharoba’s organization for training, according to spokeswoman Shelly Flynn. Cape Coral spokesman Lt. Tony Sizemore confirmed Kharoba trained that department, but couldn’t say how many officers attended or when it was. He said to not provide counterterrorism training in a post-9/11 world would be derelict on the department’s part.

“We saw he was local and we used him because he was affiliated with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” Sizemore said.

Like a late-night infomercial, Kharoba’s online pitch draws in prospects to his website with an endless list of promises. Revered and reviled, Kharoba said he’s trained more than 20,000 law enforcement officials.

“Learn what your enemy does not want you to know — ISLAMIC THEOLOGY. Understand the interpretation of the Qur’an — not the words of the Qur’an! CTOC (Counter Terrorism Operations Center) will provide you with comprehensive knowledge of all Islamic theological sources . this is what you need to know in order to become the most effective counter terrorism professional …,” his website reads.

In a list next to photos of Middle Eastern men with guns and masks, Kharoba lumps the Muslim Student Association, the Council on American-Islamic-Relations and other nationally recognized groups into a sect he calls “legal jihad” or the “Muslim Mafia,” calling the groups domestic fronts. He notes officers will learn about terrorism financing and how terrorists derive funds from the United States.

“What appears to be a convenience store or a used car import/export business might actually be a fundraising or a money laundering network,” it reads.

Kharoba is penning a letter denouncing the Council on Islamic-American Relations he plans to send to Congress to reveal what he says is proof of CAIR’s involvement with terrorists. He said the group puts up a facade of fighting for civil rights, but is actually threatening the safety of the country as a whole.

“This is just another example to actively attack and suppress analysts that provide critical information for counterterrorism operations,” Kharoba said. “I challenge anyone with a Ph.D. in Islamic theology to debate me. Facts are facts. I’m not presenting anything new. What gives them the right to lecture on it and doesn’t give me the same right?”

Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for FDLE, said in a statement: “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has utilized Sam Kharoba as a counterterrorism instructor and has received positive feedback from those taking his course. FDLE received the letter from CAIR in a fax the evening of July 10, 2012, and will review their concerns. It’s important to note that FDLE does not have authority over all law enforcement training in Florida.”…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Shady Details of Marxist “Earth” Organizations: NM Wilderness Alliance

One of the astounding ironies of the modern age is many groups associated with “selfless” secular evangelism are little more than grubby Marxist endeavors designed to enslave credulous, leftist drones. While the relentlessly disingenuous Global Warming cabal comes to mind, this description also fits the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NMWA). The Alliance has sought for years to create wilderness designations that would not just limit mankind’s ability to travel into such areas, but also certainly bankrupt many old ranch families with landholdings in these areas, too.

NMWA boasts a lineage traced back to Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First!, one of the most radical environmental groups ever conceived. Sadly, many Americans never learn about how destructive such presumed salt-of-the-earth-Marxism can be until these groups invade their own lives. This article examines this issue.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Burgas Massacre: Bomber Had Accomplice Who Triggered Bomb

(AGI) Sofia — The suicide bomber who killed 5 Israelis and the driver at Burgas airport had an accomplice. The latter might have remotely triggered the explosive device via a cellular phone. This is on today’s Pressa — the Sofia daily- and has been reported by Bulgarian BTV .

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

Italy: Dell’Utri Alleged to Have Blackmailed Berlusconi. Former PM Paid for Silence in Court

PALERMO — The payments that Silvio Berlusconi has made to Marcello Dell’Utri over the past ten years come to a tidy €40 million. According to public prosecutors, it is hush money paid by the former prime minister to one of his closest — and most Mafia-implicated — collaborators. Marcello Dell’Utri is alleged to have induced Silvio Berlusconi to make handsome payments, some of them recent, for his silence over uncomfortable details and other matters pertaining to the senator’s dangerous relationships with Mafia bosses. Payments are thought to have continued until just before the Court of Cassation ruling that could have sent the senator to prison or forced him into a spectacular flight from justice. However, Marcello Dell’Utri avoided a stretch behind bars when Italy’s supreme court quashed his sentence, although the ruling confirms his relations with Cosa Nostra during the Seventies and Eighties. Palermo prosecutors, however, maintain that the extortion continued.

Only half of the money that poured into Senator Dell’Utri’s account is formally justified by the purchase of Villa Comalcione at Torno on Lake Como, which he sold to the former PM for €21 million on 8 March (the day before the supreme court’s ruling), despite a 2004 valuation which set the price of the luxury residence at just €9.3 million. There is no official reason for the other transfers from the former prime minister’s bank account into that of the senator and his wife, all of which are described as “interest-free loans”. The story is the same for gifts of bank securities.

Magistrates view Mr Berlusconi as the victim of extortion by the People of Freedom (PDL) senator who helped him found Forza Italia and has been at his side throughout his political career. Mr Berlusconi’s daughter Marina is regarded as another victim since some of the payments came from joint accounts held with her. Both were summoned for questioning.

The new inquiry has branched from investigations into the alleged State-Mafia negotiations at the time of the wave of 1992-94 Mafia bombings. A year ago, the Palermo public prosecutor’s office acquired evidence of the multimillion-euro transfers uncovered by the financial police in the course of the Rome-based P3 inquiry, in which Marcello Dell’Utri also faces charges. There were three payments totalling €9.5 million: €1.5 million on 22 May 2008, withdrawn from an account at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and the remaining €8 million from 25 February to 11 March 2011, which came from a Milan branch of Banca Intesa Private Banking. Financial police investigations revealed other dubious bank transfers, which led to the new possibility of suspected extortion, linked not to the State-Mafia negotiations but to Senator Dell’Utri’s trial for complicity in Mafia-style criminal association…

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

Italy: Green Activists Sent to Trial Over High-Speed Train Link Clashes

Turin, 19 July (AKI) — A judge in the northern Italian city of Turin on Thursday ordered 45 environmental activists to stand trial for last summer’s violent protests over the construction of a high-speed train line linking Italy and France.

Judge Edmondo Pio committed the activists to trial in November. A 46th activist plea bargained a one-year jailterm.

Italian police arrested dozens of people in the northern Piedmont and other regions over the clashes between activists and police that took place in Valle di Susa near Turin in June-July.

Hundreds of police and demonstrators were injured on 27 June and 2 July when demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police during the protests.

The “No-TAV” protest movement is opposed to the blasting of a tunnel in the valley that will be part of a 15 billion-euro train line connecting Turin to Lyon.

Thousands of people have attended demonstrations against the TAV, an acronym for “treno di alta velocita,” or high-speed train.

Work on the main 58-kilometre tunnel, of which 12 km are in Italy, is due to begin in 2013 and go into service around 2023.

The line will cut three hours off the current seven-hour train journey between Paris and Milan. But the project has sparked fierce opposition including from residents, environmental groups and local mayors.

Protesters claim drilling to build the train link will damage the local ecosystem and could release potentially harmful substances.Thursday’s arrests were centred in the northern Piedmont region, though they were carried out throughout the country

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

PDL: ‘False That Berlusconi No Longer to be Candidate’

(AGI) Roma — The PDL, in a communique’ from the Grazioli Palace denied that Berlusconi would not present himself as a candidate. “The title and content of an article on President Berlusconi which appeared this morning in ‘Libero’ does not correspond to the truth.” The newspaper had suggested that the “Cavaliere” was evaluating not running for prime minister in the next elections.

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

Spain: WWF Expells King Juan Carlos After Elephant Hunting

(AGI) Madrid — Spain’s WWF revoked the appointment of honorary president to King Juan Carlos for participating in elephant hunting. The Spanish king led the organization sinceits establishment, in 1968 .

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

The EU: A Socialist Mummy

Rzeczpospolita Warsaw

Europe now lives off over-regulation, complacent bureaucracy and state intervention. And it will end up a museum if it doesn’t recover its entrepreneurial spirit, argues Poland’s former EU negotiator.

Jaroslaw Mulewicz

Europe is not sick with Parkinson’s disease. It is a victim of Parkinson’s law. When a company or organisation has more than 500 employees or members, it no longer needs income, profits or clients. What matters is its own bureaucracy and internal procedures, which keep the employees busy. This is true for corporations and it is true also for the European Union, or European Mummy, as the pundits call it.

Pie in the sky

The EU increasingly needs itself. It’s been working less and less for economic growth and citizens and more and more for itself and its own officials. The procedures and regulations it passes are less and less needed and hinder business instead of facilitating it.

Globally, the EU is becoming less and less economically competitive. Member states have no money to finance officialdom and public spending so they endlessly indebt themselves either internally (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France) or externally (Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece).

The EU never reduces its own budget and also demands more funds for its army of eurocrats. The existing mechanisms of the EU’s functioning have degenerated, meaning that the union is no longer a promoter of economic growth. The proposed reforms in the shape of closer political integration and debt-sharing and a policy of stimulating growth at the cost of even greater deficit will only increase the army of officials and result in a thousand new regulations that will hinder business even more.

No one wants to remember recent history, when market liberalisation in Poland in 1989 resulted in an unprecedented economic boom. What Europe wants today is socialism, state monopoly over everything, artificial full employment, especially in administration and the public sector, and finally, the rationing of everything.

Vote by acclamation

In order not to sound hollow, let us cite some examples. One closest to me will best explain the phenomenon in question. One of the EU’s official bodies is the European Economic and Social Committee that was supposed to review the EU’s decisions on behalf of civil society. How does the rightful idea of civil oversight look in reality?

The Committee members are named by non-governmental organisations, employees and employers and appointed by the Council following nominations by member state governments. Most of the members are in fact members of organisations representing the above. So you can hardly find a real business-person in the employer group, a real worker in the employee group or a real social activist in the civil society group. Many members serve numerous terms, in some cases extending to several decades. The oldest of them is eighty nine.

A recent vote in the employer group took place by acclamation. When I asked whether a representative of the employer group was now or had ever been a businessman, I heard that not, but that he had a feel for the spirit of enterprise.

Similarly, a representative of the employee group said he had never been a worker. When I asked whether they could switch places, I heard it wouldn’t be so difficult.

Precisely such officials of employer, employee and non-governmental organisations represent us, the civil society. As officials, their salaries slightly exceed the EU average. What does the EU offer them? The session allowance is 233 euros. All you need to do is sign the list and you can disappear, which some have developed a habit of.

Once a week you get a 1,084 euros travel-cost reimbursement. Add a 30 euro daily lodging allowance, double allowances for out-of-Brussels sessions and many other perks (subsidised canteen, fitness club, medical service). In all, being highly active, you can save up to eight thousand euros a month free of tax.

For function members there’s even more. You only have to attend as many sessions as possible. What do you need to proceed more often? Hundreds of new regulations to review as well as your own opinions. The more law is established, the more you earn. Several years ago, when an initiative to simplify the law-making process came out of President Jose Manuel Barroso’s office, everyone applauded. Just not in my section, working group or sub-committee, they said…


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

UK: Lags’ Fury at Muslim Fast Food

MUSLIM murderers have been given microwaves in their prison cells.

They demanded them to warm up food during their Ramadan fast.

But other lags at Gartree lifer’s jail, where the ­kitchen is being refurbished, are furious and claim the Muslims are ­getting special treatment.

Muslim inmates moaned that last year’s grub — served in flasks — was cold when they came to eat it during darkness, the end of the fasting period.

And they threatened to strike.

Now they will get meals delivered by caterers which they will warm up in ­microwaves.

Muslim cons at the jail in Leicestershire include killer Fadi Nasri, 33, who organised the murder of his special constable wife.

A source said: “The ­Muslim lads kicked up a stink last year over the food they received for Ramadan.

“And guess what? The ­authorities gave in and gave the green light. It’s a f**king liberty.

“If the non-Muslims asked for this they’d be told where to go.”

He warned that prisoners could smash the microwaves and use jagged pieces as weapons.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Gartree is in the process of having its kitchen rebuilt.

“A number of microwaves have been purchased for the kitchen area and for some prisoners observing Ramadan so they can heat up food in their cells.”

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

UK: Troops Falling in With the EDL

THESE are the pictures that reveal the English Defence League has ­infiltrated the British Army.

Last night the Ministry of ­Defence launched an inquiry ­after we presented them with ­evidence of two serving ­soldiers who openly support the racist group and who have attended ­violent marches.

The EDL has become notorious for its far-right rhetoric and provocative demonstrations that have seen hooligans clash with police across the country.

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, 33, claimed to have attended their events.

Their message of hate is ignored by the majority of troops but we can reveal a number of soldiers have embraced the EDL’s offensive views.

Yorkshire Regiment squaddie ­Cavan Langfield, 18, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, began ­training as a soldier aged 16.

The Army had high hopes for him and he even posed with his Colonel-in-Chief Prince Andrew for a local newspaper.

But the MoD was shocked to learn Langfield has become a dedicated supporter of the EDL, travelling across the country to attend ­marches and boasting online of his violent activities.

Before its provocative march on Tower Hamlets, east ­London last year, he posted on an EDL website, declaring: “Lets f**king have it! Buzzing tomorrow.”

On his Facebook account he has pictures of himself posing with ­automatic weapons in full uniform next to images of EDL demonstrations. He names his political views as “English Defence League”.

Under one picture of EDL ­members fighting police, the thug boasts: “Was fun when we had it with the coppers. They hit our mate for no reason so we all started scrapping.”

His online pal Brandon Neal, 18, is a British infantry soldier training in Canada before being deployed to Afghanistan. He openly promotes his links to the far-right group.

Neal, from Devon, uses social ­networks to keep in touch with EDL members and posts pictures of his Army kit and weapons alongside ­images of their protests, listing his interests as “football hooliganism” and being an “Islamophobe”.

On one picture of Neal’s ­rifle, a friend suggests he should take the weapon to an EDL march in Dewsbury, West Yorks, which was held recently. His chilling reply was “We’ll need em”.

Neal describes himself as “EDL all the way” and has been pictured ­taking part in the group’s “patrols” in Yorkshire.

The organisation’s hate-filled ­message has made it all the way to Afghanistan, where one masked ­soldier posed in front of an EDL flag with a rifle.

Further pictures from the same sickening display are being distributed by the EDL as propaganda.

Army sources indicated Langfield and Neal will face the “hairdryer treatment” today.

The MoD said the matter had been “dealt with internally”.

A spokesman said: “The Army is clear that racism of any kind is ­unacceptable.

“Instances of such behaviour brought to our attention are investigated and appropriate action taken, up to and including dismissal.

“While personnel are free to join political parties, they are expected to abide by our values and standards in all they do.”

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Explosion Destroys Egypt-Israel Gas Pipeline

(AGI) Cairo — An explosion in the Sinai has destroyed the pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan. It was the fourteenth blast to hit the pipeline since 2011. The explosion occurred near the town of El Arish. The sale of gas from Egypt to Israel has recently been at the centre of a tug of war between the two countries after the fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

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

Middle East

Kuwait Police Bust High-Tech Vice Ring — ‘Foreign’ Girl in Custody

KUWAIT: Vice detectives uncovered an international prostitution ring located in Spain that had extended its work to Kuwait, said security sources. Detectives arrested a girl belonging to the ring, who entered Kuwait with a commercial visitors visa to render her services to well-known personalities in exchange for 6000 euros per session. A security source added that vice detectives were able to locate a network site that runs prostitution from Spain and shows clips of beautiful girls. The site services included sending the prostitute to customers’ countries, provided the number of men requesting the girl reach a certain number so the trip is profitable.

When the girl arrives in Kuwait, the site managers contact the customer, telling him that the ‘representative’ had arrived in Kuwait and is staying at a certain location, where he can be with her for a certain time in exchange for 6000 euros. Instructions also said he cannot talk to her about any subject other than the service. When the service is completed, the prostitute leaves the country.

Vice detectives reported arresting a girl, among those who had just arrived in the country, before she completed her rounds. The girl confessed and identified those who bought her services before she was deported.

           — Hat tip: RR[Return to headlines]

Qatar to Buy US Helicopters, Missiles, Press

(ANSAmed — DOHA, JULY 17 — Qatar is preparing to buy 25 attack helicopters AH-64D Apache Longbow and 700 Hellfire missiles under an accord worth 3 billion dollars with the United States, according to Arabian Business.

The Emirate is also reportedly interested in buying military hardware including night vision goggles and missile launching equipment.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said the sale would contribute to the country’s security by improving the security conditions of its ally Qatar, which it said represents an important force in the political and economic progress of the Middle East. It also said the accord would help protect important oil rigs.

Military relations between the United States and Qatar are consolidated and the two countries previously signed a defence cooperation accord in 1991. Qatar hosts a US Air Force base.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Turkey Battles to Repatriate Antiquities

A resurgent Turkey has launched a concerted effort to get cultural artifacts back from museums around the world. Although many museums deny that their objects were illegally obtained, Ankara is playing hardball by threatening to ban loans and revoke excavation permits.

If one were to describe the current mood in Turkey in one word, it would be pride. Once decried as the “sick man of the Bosporus,” the nation has regrouped and emerged as a powerhouse. Turkey’s political importance is growing, and its economy is booming.

In cultural matters, however, Turkey remains a lightweight. To right this deficiency, the government plans to build a 25,000-square-meter (270,000-square-foot) “Museum of the Civilizations” in the capital. “Ankara will proudly accommodate the museum,” boasts Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Günay. “Our dream is the biggest museum in the world.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Kerala: The (Perceived) Threat of “Love Jihad”

The term refers to Muslims forced conversions of girls on the promise of a marriage. The Kochi police have arrested a woman who converted to Islam on charges of ties to terrorist activities. Christian and Hindu groups launch campaigns of hatred, but the chief minister Oomen Chandy (Christian) warns against using pretext of interfaith marriages to harass the Islamic community.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Fear is mounting in Kerala over the so-called “Love Jihad”, or alleged forced conversions of Christian and Hindu girls by Muslims, with the offer of marriage, the young would then be forced to embrace Islam. Adding fuel to the fire, is the arrest of a woman in Kochi, accused of being involved in terrorist activities. According to Kochi police, Shahina provided phone sim cards to Thadiyantavide Nazir, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group responsible for the attacks in Mumbai in 2008), while in jail. The woman’s original name was Deepa Cheriyan, which she changed after marrying Naushad, a Muslim friend of Nazir, and her conversion to Islam.

The epsiode has reignited the issue of the “love jihad” and countless hate campaigns of Hindu and Christian communities, in spite of several Islamic associations always denying the existence of this practice. Oomen Chandy, Christian and chief minister of Kerala, has tried to quell the controversy by declaring that, “there are no forced conversions in enlightened Kerala Society “.

The statement made on 16 July, was in reply to a question asked by KK Lathika, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the State, who noted that expressions like “love jihad” or “moral police” had appeared on the front pages of newspapers. For the chief minister instead, forced conversions are not yet a threat or danger, and the fact that marriage is one of the first reasons for conversion gives no-one any right to harass the Islamic community.

These statements have not, however, convinced public opinion, and the tension that has arisen in Kerala is also apparent in a file published by Wikileaks from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai (Tamil Nadu). In it, the “love jihad” is defined as an “alleged conspiracy of ‘attractive’ Muslims, financed by foreigners, trying to seduce, marry and convert Hindus and Christians to use for terrorist purposes”. The document also points out that “the controversial phenomenon” is exacerbated by the “religious tensions” in southern India.

According to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), not all young Muslims are involved in this practice, and for that “all Indians, irrespective of creed, must speak out and condemn this tragic results, in the interests of peace and harmony within the community, their country and the world. “

A report by the central government alleges that from 2006 to date 2,687 women have converted to Islam in Kerala. Of these, 2,195 were Hindus and 492 Christians.

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

Indonesia: Twenty-Nine Cannibals Arrested for Eating Penis Soup and Brains

Jakarta, 13 July (AKI/Jakarta Post) — Authorities have arrested 29 people accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea’s jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors, police said Friday.

Madang Police Commander Anthony Wagambie confirmed a report in The National newspaper that said the cult members allegedly ate their victims’ brains raw and made soup from their penises.

“They don’t think they’ve done anything wrong; they admit what they’ve done openly,” Wagambie told The Associated Press by telephone.

He said the killers believed that their victims practiced “sanguma,” or sorcery, and that they had been extorting money as well as demanding sex from poor villagers for their supernatural services.

By eating witch doctors’ organs, the cult members believed they would attain supernatural powers and literally become bullet-proof, he said.

“It’s prevalent cult activity,” Wagambie said. He said he believes there could be between 700 and 1,000 cult members in several villages in Papua New Guinea’s remote northeast interior. All of them might have eaten human flesh, he said.

According to the report in The National, which is published in Papua New Guinea, 28 men and women appeared in a Madang court on Tuesday. Wagambie said they were charged with willful murder.

It was not clear what happened to the 29th suspect. Murder is punishable by death in Papua New Guinea, a poor South Pacific island nation.

Wagambie said the suspects were not required to plea to the murder charges and were being held in custody.

Police will gather more witness statements before pressing charges related to the cannibalism allegations, he said.

Cannibalism was part of traditional culture in Papua New Guinea, where human flesh was known as “long pig,” and survived in isolated pockets into the latter part of the 20th century while the country was under Australian colonial rule.

Wagambie, 36, said he had never heard of a previous case of cannibalism in his lifetime.

He expected police would make around 100 arrests over the weekend for cult-related crimes.

Four of the seven victims were murdered last week, Wagambie said, adding that no remains had been recovered.

“They’re probably all eaten up,” he said.

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

Pakistan: Fighter Jets Bomb Taliban, At Least 15 Dead

(AGI) Kalaya — Pakistani fighter jets killed at least 15 militants in a raid in the northeast of the country. The raids targeted four hideouts of rebel militia in the tribal region of Orakzai, a stronghold of the Taliban movement.

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

Three NATO Soliders Killed in Afghanistan

(AGI) Kabul- Two NATO soldiers died in a bomb blast in Afghanistan this morning, while one was killed in a rebel attack yesterday. ISAF has not yet announced the nationalities of the dead soldiers.

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

Far East

South China Sea: Chinese Fleet of 30 Vessels Arrive at Spratlys

It is the largest fleet ever seen in the archipelago. Beijing’s answer to Manila and Hanoi’s attempts to push ASEAN against the expansionist ambitions of China. China’s aggression also worries the United States.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) — A fleet of 30 Chinese vessels have arrived at the Spratlys, is increasing tensions between the nations who claim sovereignty over the islands of the South China Sea.

The fleet arrived yesterday afternoon at Yongshu from Hainan. It includes a vessel for supplies and security. According to Xinhua news agency it is the largest fleet to have ever reached the Spratlys.

The archipelago in the South China Sea, potentially rich in undersea oil fields, is disputed by China, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia and attempts to take possession of one or another of the islands have long been at the centre of contention between the neighbouring countries. Philippines and Vietnam accuse Beijing of being overly aggressive in claiming sovereignty over the archipelago (see: 04/07/2012 As China’s foreign policy hardens, it is Beijing versus all). In recent weeks there have been clashes between Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese vessels.

Manila and Hanoi are also seeking allies in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian countries) to counter China. In recent days, however, at the organization’s summit in Cambodia, it was not possible to draft a motion against Beijing because of opposition from Cambodia, which is economically dependent on China (see: The 14/07/2012 South China Sea dispute leaves ASEAN speechless). According to analysts, the arrival of the vast Chinese fleet yesterday appears to be Beijing’s response to criticisms raised in the ASEAN summit.

The hegemonic ambitions of China also worry that the United States who have increased their naval presence in the Pacific.

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

Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: How 7/7 Bomber’s Home Counties Widow Became the World’s Most Wanted Woman

Samantha Lewthwaite, 28, is known as the White Widow and is believed to be targeting tourist hotspots in East Africa

With the tourist season about to begin, this is usually a busy spell for hotels and restaurants along the beaches of Kenya’s breathtaking coastline. But not this year: these are dangerous times in paradise.

‘We have no people,’ sighs George Otieno, a hotel manager in Mombasa, as he surveys a deserted beach once popular with tourists from Britain, the U.S. and Germany. ‘It’s a disaster.’

The culprit? Samantha Lewthwaite, also known as the White Widow — a 28-year-old university graduate from England’s Home Counties who is rapidly assuming the mantle of the world’s most infamous female al Qaeda killer, after secretly basing herself on Kenya’s coast.

Details of Lewthwaite’s extraordinary journey from an ordinary childhood in Buckinghamshire — her father was a British soldier, her mother a housewife — emerged last week as Scotland Yard terror squad detectives and the CIA reportedly launched a desperate hunt to find her.

It is claimed that Lewthwaite, whose late husband was one of the 7/7 suicide bombers, is targeting tourist bars and hotels in East Africa.

She is even said to have fired rocket-propelled grenades in the latest attack three weeks ago. So grim has the situation become in Kenya, where the White Widow’s fearsome reputation is spreading fast through towns and villages, that senior police officials are trying to downplay the threat amid a catastrophic slump in tourist bookings.

Elijah Rop, the local head of Kenya’s anti-terror police, insisted to the world’s media this month: ‘We don’t know where that woman is, but I can tell you that she is not in Kenya.

‘This idea that she is firing rockets is nonsense. We cannot even say that she is someone that we fear. She is far away, she is hiding somewhere.’

His comments have been likened to the mayor in the film Jaws saying it’s safe to go back in the water. But he spoke out after the U.S. continued its warning to all citizens not to visit Kenya, because of the terror threats linked to the White Widow. And Interpol is about to issue a ‘red notice’ to international police forces, along with photos of Lewthwaite, after it emerged a computer found at one of her Mombasa homes showed she’d been trawling the internet for bomb-making tips.

Although she had smashed the laptop after her accomplices were arrested, Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism unit managed to retrieve details from the hard drive, including digital pictures of Lewthwaite that suggest she has developed a bizarre self-image.

In one, she wears a revealing vest top with her auburn hair falling over her shoulders. In a second, her face has been transposed on to a poster in New York’s Time Square, while a third features her face reproduced many times over in bubbles.

British police are also understood to have taken ammunition from Lewthwaite’s property to see if it can be linked to the murder of British tourist David Tebbutt, 58, who was shot at a Kenyan resort last September.

It seems implausible that an English mother of three young children can be one of the world’s most wanted terrorists and hold a senior role in the male-dominated ranks of al Qaeda.

‘We found weapons and explosives at her house,’ says Jacob Ondari of Kenya’s directorate of public prosecutions. ‘Lewthwaite is highly, highly dangerous. She is not just a small cog in this terrorist machine — she has links to the top. I will be calling for the death penalty when she is finally caught. That would be our prayer.

‘The police will shoot her if they find her and she tries to run — too bad if she gets shot dead. It’s detestable that you come into my country and kill innocent people.’

During my investigation into Lewthwaite’s activities, I was also passed documents showing that armed Kenyan police are under orders to use the ‘full force of the law’ and ‘vigorously effect’ an arrest warrant for her.

A judge has also issued instructions for her to be arrested and brought to court on August 2, the date set for her trial to answer charges that she conspired with others to ‘cause harm to innocent citizens’.

Senior police sources are convinced the White Widow is still in Kenya and actively planning attacks with fellow Islamic fanatics. What’s more, credible witnesses tell me they saw a white woman believed to be Lewthwaite fire grenades into a crowded local bar last month — killing three people, including a nine-year-old boy, and horrifically injuring 30.

Hundreds of people were outside the Jericho Bar, watching the Euro 2012 football match between England and Italy. The first man to claim Lewthwaite was actively involved in a terrorist attack gave me a chilling account of what unfolded that day.

Isaac Simanye, 25, a security guard and parking attendant at Jericho Bar, saw two cars — a black 4x4 with tinted windows and white saloon — pull up outside and block in other vehicles.

‘The white woman got what looked like a long gun from the back of the car.’

She began walking backwards with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher over her shoulder. Then she started firing.

The first grenade flew over the top of the drinkers and exploded on the roof of a house nearby, killing a young boy. The second shot was on target, exploding near a group of drinkers clustered around an outside television set.

Businessman Peter Okode, who was watching the match at the bar, tells me: ‘I heard a noise I have never heard in this world — a massive explosion and then screaming and crying.

‘There were people trying to hold their intestines in, and one woman with her legs and buttocks blown off. There was blood everywhere. These were innocent men and women killed and maimed in cold blood.’

Kenya’s east coast is increasingly being used as a base for terrorists, and its porous borders and corrupt immigration officers on salaries of just £300 a month mean extremists such as Lewthwaite can easily flit in and out of the country.

To her fellow East African terrorists she is known as dada muzungu — Swahili for ‘white sister’. But ordinary people are outraged by her activities.

A police source involved in the investigation says he is furious that this ‘imported’ foreign terrorist is wreaking havoc in Kenya. ‘She is a British-made criminal and killer,’ the source tells me. ‘She grew up and went to school in England. What went wrong?

‘Is it the way British children are brought up that’s all wrong, that’s causing such rebellion? Or is it because of the British system of education?’

Perhaps only Lewthwaite can answer that question. But there are scant clues in her upbringing that she would one day become a jihadist for a Somali wing of al Qaeda.

Fragments of her life story first emerged after the Tube and bus bombings in London in 2005. One of the four suicide bombers who killed 52 people was Samantha’s husband Jermaine Lindsay, with whom she had two children — including a baby born two months after the atrocity.

Lewthwaite’s father Andrew was serving in the British Army in Northern Ireland in the Seventies when he met her mother Christine. They had three children, with Samantha being the youngest. She grew up in Aylesbury, Bucks, after her father left the Army and moved the family to England.

Her parents separated when she was 11, which badly affected her, according to her friends. It is understood she became friendly with Muslim neighbours during this difficult time. When she was 15 and working on an A-level in religious studies, she decided to convert to Islam, and began wearing a hijab instead of her jeans and T-shirts.

She met Lindsay via an internet chat room while she was studying for a degree in politics at the University of London’s prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies.

Afterwards she said: ‘I just wanted to find a Muslim husband and settle down. When we got together we were fantastic and prayed five times a day together.’ In 2004, the couple got married in an Islamic ceremony in the front room of a terrace house in Aylesbury.

None of her family attended. She said later: ‘My father Andy didn’t approve and stayed away. I was his youngest daughter. He found it hard enough when I converted to Islam, [let alone] marrying a Muslim I’d hardly met.’

After the 7/7 bombings Lewthwaite branded her husband’s actions ‘abhorrent’, and the police said she was an innocent party.

It’s not known what happened during the next three years to persuade her to leave England and join a terror group in East Africa — where she is thought to have been put in charge of financing atrocities.

But what is certain is that since joining al Qaeda in 2008, Lewthwaite has led a charmed life, giving birth to a third child from a new relationship, and narrowly escaping capture twice in the past four years.

The first time was when she was travelling on a bus from Kenya to Somalia with other Islamic extremists late in 2008. Dressed from head to toe in Islamic robes, she was with another terror suspect, Jermaine Grant from East London, who had also moved to Kenya. He had disguised himself as a woman by wearing a burqa.

The British pair were on the bus with Saleh Nabhan, the mastermind behind two of East Africa’s worst terror atrocities: the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 250, and the 2002 attempt to bring down an Israeli airline with Stinger missiles. The fact he was travelling with the White Widow underlines how highly trusted she had become.

The following year, Nabhan — a Kenyan with direct links to terror commanders in Pakistan and Afghanistan — was killed by a U.S. drone. It was considered a major blow to al-Shabaab, the Somali wing of al Qaeda.

The bus was stopped by police officers but Lewthwaite was not yet known to them, and she hid behind an Islamic veil, then continued on her way to the Somali border.

Grant and other terrorists were arrested and taken to a police compound in Dadajabula. But they escaped a few hours later when 20 Islamic militants with AK-47 assault rifles stormed the compound. Lewthwaite and Grant regrouped in Mombasa, renting three separate properties. At one of them Lewth- waite dressed as a Westerner. But at another flat in an Islamic ghetto, she only went outside covered from head to toe in Islamic clothes.

Clearly, the intent was to confuse police.

What is also extraordinary is that Lewthwaite is thought to have her children with her on the run…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Labour Shock Over Anti-Gay Jibes at Euro Socialist Camp Where Croatian Delegates Threatened Violence

Ed Miliband faced embarrassment last night after a socialist summer camp descended into acrimony amid claims of homophobic abuse.

The gathering in Croatia was a chance for junior Labour Party members to get to know their counterparts in the Party of European Socialists (PES).

But they were shocked to witness gay delegates being threatened with violence by Croatian delegates who warned: ‘We don’t like f****** faggots.’

One British delegate at the camp, held in Savudrija on the Croatian coast, went on Twitter to complain: ‘Bigotry and intolerance [are] still rife in some parts of mainland Europe despite Socialist affiliation.’

The PES brings together the ‘sister socialist parties’ in the European Union, including ex-Warsaw Pact communist parties in Poland and Romania.

A total of 1,400 activists from across the EU gathered at the Young European Socialists summer camp to ‘put an end to neoliberal politics’.

But the semi-holiday mood soured after the gay delegates were heckled and insulted by the delegates thought to have been members of the Croatian Social Democratic Youth movement.

The UK delegation responded by leading an ‘anti-misogyny, homophobia and transphobia’ march through the site in protest.

Daniel de la Motte, a Labour activist from Birmingham, declared on Twitter: ‘I have managed to get 2 delegates kicked out for homophobia, so kudos on the swift response of those organising.’

The camp broke up on Thursday night but Labour Party members remain shocked.

It is embarrassing for Mr Miliband because Labour has highlighted David Cameron’s links — through the Tories’ right-wing alliances in the European Parliament — to politicians from the ex-Eastern Bloc countries who also hold homophobic views.

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


Lethal Narcissism

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes narcissism as a personality disorder that “revolves around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement.”


Some of the criteria of a narcissistic personality include:

1. Feels grandiose and self-important; exaggerates their achievements.
2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequaled brilliance, etc.
3. Is firmly convinced he or she is unique and can only be understood by other high-status people.
4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation.
5. Feels entitled and demands automatic and full compliance with their expectations.
6. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends.
7. Is devoid of empathy and is unable to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is constantly envious of others; believes they feel that way about him.
9. Is arrogant, has haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

This description is taken from the American Psychiatric Association (1994) manual cited above. It is based as well on the writings of Dr, Sam Vaknin, an authority on narcissism and author of “Malignant Self-Love.” A key point Dr. Vaknin makes is that the narcissist is NOT self-aware; he lies to others and to himself, and he is “master of disguise.”

At this point, you are probably thinking that I am describing Barack Hussein Obama, but in fact I am quoting from Ali Sina’s book, “Understanding Muhammad and Muslims.” Sina is one of the world’s leading authorities on both and through his writings and website at, has made it his mission to encourage Muslims to understand how Islam warps their normal human values of love, tolerance, and life itself.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

In the 100th anniversary of Enoch Powell's death can we remember two points that the sainted Enoch made.
Don't tell our ultra cissy retiring Archbishop of Canterbury that I called Enoch sainted he will have a fit of the vapours. Firstly, he said that those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. This quote came to me in the context of the EDL recruits in the army. The army is fighting an ongoing war against militant Islam in Afghanistan and a fifth of the army are to turn London into an armoured camp for fear of islamic extremist terorism. But any criticism of Islam is deemed to be beyond the pale and punishable when detected. The second is the Tiber foaming with much blood quote. Samantha Lewthaite's husband blew himself up on 7th July 2007 and took others with him. And now this poor demented girl is seeking to do the same in Kenya. As a male it is hard for me to cope with female suffering. If she were to blow herself up I would feel saddened because she would have totally wasted her life through her feeble-mindedness. At the same time do I hear that Emma West has been imprisoned? Is she ever going to get her child back, probably not as she is worse than a mass killer. She is a RACIST. If Lewthwaite succeeds and if the Dewsbury massacre had not been foiled then there are more gallons of blood to go with the gallons already spilled since this insane multicultural experiment began in 1948. Most of that blood by the way is of indigenous white people but the only blood that counts in the eyes of officialdom is that of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.