Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120803

Financial Crisis
»U.S. Added 163,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.3%
»Where is Your Big Bazooka, Mr Draghi?
»Caroline Glick: Israel — Obama’s Wedge Issue
»Mosque Planned for Moody Street in Waltham
Europe and the EU
»‘Al-Qaeda Men’ May Have Targeted Gibraltar
»Italian Court Rules it is a Criminal Offence to Tell a Man He Has ‘No Balls’ Because it Hurts Male Pride
»Netherlands: New Protest Website From Anti-Immigration Party
»Only Three Per Cent of Irish Would Vote for GOP’s Mitt Romney Poll Shows
»UK: ‘Your Concern About Being Shamed in Your Community Was Greater Than the Love for Your Daughter, ‘ Judge Tells Shafilea Ahmed’s Murdering Parents as He Jails Them Both for Life
»UK: Sex Abuse Gang Leader Sentenced to a Further 22 Years
»UK: The Great Olympic Sham
North Africa
»Muslims Burn Christian Homes and Businesses in Egypt
Middle East
»Breaking: 20 Palestinians Killed by Artillery
Far East
»China Region Bans Muslims From Fasting During Ramadan
Latin America
»Argentina: British Ships Banned From Docking in Buenos Aires

Financial Crisis

U.S. Added 163,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.3%

The American economy continued its long slog upward from the depths of the Great Recession, adding 163,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July, the Labor Department said on Friday. That compares to a revised figure of 64,000 jobs in June.

The unemployment rate, based on a separate survey, rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent.

[Return to headlines]

Where is Your Big Bazooka, Mr Draghi?

by Jeremy Warner

Some see it otherwise, but I found little of comfort in today’s statement and the following Q & A from Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. A week ago while in London, he seemed to promise so much. In the event, he delivered little if anything. There was no cut in interest rates, there was no new programme of bond market support for distressed members of the euro, and there were no “unconventional measures” to counter what is now a quite generalised recession in the eurozone economy. Instead of real action, we got only vague statements of intent.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Caroline Glick: Israel — Obama’s Wedge Issue

Less than 100 days before the US presidential elections, the Obama administration is openly denying Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. Can this be a vote-getter?

Last week, the Emergency Committee for Israel released an ad titled, “O, Jerusalem.” The commercial showed administration officials squirming when asked to name the capital of Israel, and highlighted the recent refusals of White House and State Department spokespeople to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city. The underlying message of the ad was that the administration’s policy is out of step with the views of the majority of Americans.

Barack Obama’s position is certainly a political outlier. The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed nearly unanimously by both houses of Congress, explicitly stated that it is the policy of the United States that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. The law granted the president a right to postpone the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on national security grounds. But the law’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was unconditional.

During his visit to Israel earlier this week, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney highlighted the fact that he holds the consensus view of the American public on Jerusalem…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Mosque Planned for Moody Street in Waltham

Moody Street’s eclectic collection of restaurants, bars, and novelty shops is about to get a bit more vibrant. The Waltham Islamic Society has purchased the property at 313 Moody St. in Waltham and plans to open a mosque there after passing certain city zoning requirements, according to organization officials. The property formerly housed the New Landing Restaurant. Leaders of the organization closed the sale on the building in mid-July, buying the space for about $515,000 with money raised locally over the past 10 years. Abdul Kasozi, the society’s president, said the religious organization, which serves about 60 to 70 local families, hopes to complete renovations and officially open in the next three to four months.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

‘Al-Qaeda Men’ May Have Targeted Gibraltar

Three suspected al-Qaeda members with enough explosives “to blow up a bus” were arrested in southern Spain on Thursday amid fears they were on the verge of launching an attack on Gibraltar or the European mainland.

Two were detained on a bus bound for France, while the third was seized in a flat in La Linea de Concepcion, in the southern province of Andalucia. Alleged to be a “facilitator for al-Qaeda”, the third man is believed to be a Turk who worked in the construction business in Gibraltar for several years. The three men had been under police surveillance for some time and Spanish police sources said they had been seen in recent weeks using a motor-powered paraglider around Gibraltar, where Britain has a military base, leading to speculation that they may have been planning an airborne attack.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italian Court Rules it is a Criminal Offence to Tell a Man He Has ‘No Balls’ Because it Hurts Male Pride

Telling a man he has ‘no balls’ as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride, Italy’s highest court has declared in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins.

The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, a justice of the peace, for the phrase uttered during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.

‘Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality,’ the male judge, Maurizio Fumo, said in his ruling as quoted by Italian news agency ANSA.

‘It refers not only to the target’s lack of virility, but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence — virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender.’

The court also found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging Vittorio’s reputation.

Vittorio’s lawyer had argued that the expression implied that his client was ‘worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes.’

A judge will now rule on the fine that Alberto should pay to Vittorio.

The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: New Protest Website From Anti-Immigration Party

Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party PVV has launched a website where people can protest against European Union civil servants and politicians who earn too much.

Visitors to (stop the European profiteers) can click on a button to show they agree with the website’s standpoint.

The PVV says recent research by a Belgian tv programme showed that a newly-appointed civil servant earns €4,676 per month and a European commissioner €27,000.

The party plans to hand the results to prime minister Mark Rutte and European council president Herman van Rompuy at the EU top in October.

The website is only available in Dutch.

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

Only Three Per Cent of Irish Would Vote for GOP’s Mitt Romney Poll Shows

5,000 surveyed by web site give Obama a smashing victory

The Irish have voted and almost unanimously. A new survey carried out by found that only three percent of Ireland’s population would vote for the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, while 51 percent would re-elect the Democrat’s nominee, Barack Obama. The survey was responded to by 5,000 people

With less than a hundred days to election day it seems that the Irish have all but made up their mind on who they would like to see in the Oval Office and the White House next year.

Here’s how the results breakdown — Barack Obama received 51 percent (2588) of the vote while the Republican nominee received just three percent (163). Six percent of Irish voters said they “don’t care” who takes on the role of President of the United States and 39 percent said they were undecided.

The massive undecided vote seems to show no huge affection for Obama but an unwillingness to even consider Romney.

Irish American Democrats in Ireland have organized an Obama fundraiser for Ollie Hayes’ bar in his ancestral home in Moneygall which the President visited during his time in Ireland last year.

In the United States according to the latest Quinnipiac University survey shows Obama has the edge over Romney in the three battle ground states of Pennsylvania (53 to 42 percent) Ohio (50 to 44 percent) and Florida (51 to 45 percent).

Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said “The president is running better in the key swing states than he is nationally.”

Reuters reports a tight race nationwide with their own, Reuters/Ipsos poll, last month showing Obama’s standing among US voters closley matched by Romney.

What do you think? Could the Irish get their wish and have Barack Obama re-elected as President of the United States after November’s election?

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Your Concern About Being Shamed in Your Community Was Greater Than the Love for Your Daughter, ‘ Judge Tells Shafilea Ahmed’s Murdering Parents as He Jails Them Both for Life

A mother and father who killed their ‘Westernised’ teenage daughter because they believed she brought shame on the family were jailed for life today — nine years after the brutal killing.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, were told they would both serve a minimum of 25 years in prison after a jury at Chester Crown Court convicted them of the murder of 17-year-old Shafilea.

The trial heard that they suffocated the teenager with a plastic bag at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans told them: ‘Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child.’

Farzana cried as she was led from the court, while Mr Ahmed shook his head in disbelief.

Mr Ahmed’s solemn reaction was in stark contrast to when he was led to the cells to await the sentence earlier today, audibly telling police officers in the courtroom to ‘f*** off’.

Before they were led away to begin their life sentences, the judge asked them: ‘What was it that brought you two, her parents, the people who had given her life, to the point of killing her?’

He continued: ‘You chose to bring up your family in Warrington but although you lived in Warrington your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan and it was those which you imposed upon your children.

‘Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country and in the town in which you had chosen to live and bring up your children.

‘However, you could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live.

‘She was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her.’

He added: ‘A desire that she understood and appreciated the cultural heritage from which she came is perfectly understandable, but an expectation that she live in a sealed cultural environment separate from the culture of the country in which she lived was unrealistic, destructive and cruel.

‘The conflict between you and her increased in the last year of her life and you tried to impose your cultural values and attitudes on her by intimidation, bullying and a use of physical violence.’

Scroll down for video.

The seven men and five women of the jury had returned two unanimous verdicts after deliberating for around 11 hours.

Their children Junyad, Mevish and the youngest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all broke down in tears as the verdict was read out.

Their sister disappeared in September 2003 but her body was not found until the following February on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria.

The prosecution at Chester Crown Court claimed Shafilea was killed by her parents because she brought shame on the family by her desire to lead a ‘Westernised’ lifestyle.

Speaking after the verdicts, Shafilea’s close friend, Melissa Powner, read a statement to the media in which she paid tribute to the teenager and spoke about the pain of having to watch as her killers roamed free.

Miss Powner said: ‘We have waited for this day for many years.

‘We have watched as her killers roamed free.

‘Yet today we heard those important words — words that have finally brought our friend the justice she deserves.

‘Shafilea was a caring, high-spirited and brave young lady — who, even in her toughest times, always strived to remain positive and hopeful that one day she too would be able to live the peaceful and happy life that she deserved.’

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation, said: ‘Justice has finally been done. It’s taken a long time for this case to be resolved so we pay tribute to the police and the courts.

‘The strong message goes out and should be very clear: if you engage in honour killings, if you engage in forced marriages, you will be caught and brought to justice.’

‘Honour killings go against Islam. Islam totally forbids honour killings, it forbids forced marriages and if anybody thinks somehow that they are doing these actions as a result of their faith, then they are seriously misguided. I have spoken to a lot of Muslim scholars and it’s very clear that these people should not be behaving in this way.

‘We should not be forcing our sons and daughters to marry people.’

Earlier the trial heard Alesha say her parents repeatedly attacked and abused Shafilea as she grew up, torn between the allure of a Western lifestyle and their demands that she wear traditional clothes and agree to an arranged marriage.

Crying in the witness box, Alesha told the trial her parents held a terrified Shafilea down on the settee in their living room as the plastic bag was forced into her mouth.

‘You could tell she was gasping for air,’ she said before adding that Shafilea ‘wet herself because she was struggling so much’.

Asked what happened next, she told the court: ‘That was it, she was gone.’

Alesha went on to describe how the other children ran upstairs to their bedrooms in shock and she saw her father carry Shafilea’s body to the car wrapped in a blanket.

The children were later told to say nothing to the authorities amid a fear that they would suffer the same fate as their sister.

Shafilea’s decomposed remains were discovered in the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.

Her parents lead 150 mourners at her funeral at Warrington Islamic Community Centre the following April.

But it was not until 2010 that Alesha provided the ‘final piece of the puzzle’ about her death, the prosecution said.

Alesha’s version of events was corroborated in writings her younger sister Mevish gave to her friend Shaheen Munir in 2008, which emerged shortly after the start of Alesha’s evidence.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: Sex Abuse Gang Leader Sentenced to a Further 22 Years

The ringleader of a gang of Asian men from Rochdale amd Oldham who groomed young white girls for sex was sentenced today at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to a further term of 22 years. Shabir Ahmed (59), formerly of Windsor Road, Oldham, was convicted of 30 charges of child rape by a jury at Manchester Crown Court in June. The court heard he raped and sexually abused one young girl over many years. He was jailed for 19 years in May following an 11-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court that heard he led a child sex exploitation ring of nine men who targeted vulnerable young girls in the Rochdale and Oldham areas. His sentence will run concurrently with the earlier one. Judge Mushtaq Khokhar was forced to have Ahmed removed from the dock before passing sentence because he was persistently interrupted by the defendant. Before his ejection, Ahmed shouted: “It’s all lies. It’s all concocted by the police.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: The Great Olympic Sham

by Lincoln Allison

This is my ninth Olympics, not as a competitor, but as a whinger. Ever since 1980 I have managed to persuade at least one outlet to publish or broadcast my tiny little counterblast, my “He’s got no clothes on” shriek against Olympic propaganda. That takes one back to 1980, the Moscow games and the accession of “His Excellency” the late Juan Samaranch to the Presidency of the International Olympic Committee. He was a former Falangist helping a bunch of Communists in their propaganda purposes, which is historically a typical Olympic alliance. My original outlet was dear old New Society.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Muslims Burn Christian Homes and Businesses in Egypt

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — The sectarian crisis in the village of Dahshur escalated on August 1 after the burial of the Muslim man who died yesterday in hospital. Hundreds of Muslims torched and looted Coptic businesses and homes despite hundreds of security forces being deployed in the village. Eyewitnesses reported that security forces did not protect most Coptic property — only the small church of St. George was protected, in addition to some Coptic houses in its neighborhood.

“As 120 families had already fled the village the day before after being terrorized, the businesses and homes were an easy game for the mob to make a complete clean-up of everything that could be looted,” said Coptic activist Wagih Jacob. “The security forces were at the scene of the crime while it was taking place and did nothing at all.”

After the violence, the family of the deceased Moaz Hasab-Allah said that destroying Coptic property is not enough and that Coptic have to “pay for their son’s death” with lives. They did not yet accept condolences for his death, which is a sign that a vendetta is intended. In certain parts of Egypt, when the family of a deceased intends to take revenge, they accept no condolences before the persons responsible are killed.

The sectarian incident which, now called the “shirt sedition,” started on July 27 in Dahshur, Badrasheen, 40 km south of Cairo, after the Coptic launderer Sameh Samy inadvertently burned the shirt of his Muslim client Ahmad Ramadan. Although they agreed to meet in the evening to settle the claim, Ramadam did not wait but came back in the afternoon to fight. After some 3000 armed Muslims surrounded the Copt’s home and launderette, he locked himself up in his home. As the fight intensified on both sides with Molotov cocktails, the Copt hurled one fire bomb from the roof of his house, which the 25-year-old Moaz, who happened to be passing by. He was taken to hospital, suffering third degree burns. After his death in hospital, Muslim brotherhood clerics and his family vowed to exact revenge, causing 120 terrorized Christian families to flee the village, with only one Christian family remaining behind according to the village priest Takla Abdel-Sayed.

The Coptic launderer, his father and brother, after being assaulted by the mob, were detained by the police on charges of murder and possession of explosives. Five arrest warrants were issued for 5 Muslims who are still at large (AINAÂ 8-1-2012).

The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement today criticizing officials “for not dealing firmly with the events, demanding the speedy arrest of the perpetrators, the provision of security to the village Copts, their return to their homes, and monetary compensation for all those affected.”

Many activists regard the Dahshur incident as a perpetuation of the Mubarak-era policies of collective punishment of Copts.

“We were previously told that it was the old regime and security authorities which stirred sedition to divert the attention from existing problems facing the government,” said commented law professor and former member of parliament Georgette Qellini. “Now that regime has gone, so who now is the culprit? We flatly refuse collective punishment of Copts. Just because I share some one’s religion, I have to pay the price of losing my home and my job..”

In an interview with MidEast Christian News Rev. Dr. Safwat El-Bayadi, head of the Evangelical Community in Egypt, said that collective punishment of Christians is prevailing in the absence of a system and deterrent laws to punish perpetrators.

“Is it possible that just because of a torched shirt, the whole village is to burn down,” said Anba Theodosius, Coptic bishop of Giza. He intends to send today clergy from the Giza Diocese, to which Dahshur is affiliated, to visit President Morsy to demand “the return of the displaced families to the village, putting on trial those responsible, compensating the Christians victims for loss of their property and the return of stability and security to the village.”

Dozens of Copts from the Maspero Coptic Youth Federation and the Coalition of Egypt’s Copts staged demonstrations on Wednesday and today in front of the presidential palace and the headquarters of Security in Giza, protesting the Dahshour events. They chanted slogans against President Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fadi Joseph, founder of the Coalition of Egypt’s Copts, said during today’s protest that President Mohamed Morsi went back on his election promise to the Copts, that “I will not do no injustice to any Copt and no Copt will ever be displaced.” Youssef denied that the events of Dahshur was sectarian, stressing that what happened is an organized and systematic attack on Christians by militant Islamist groups in Dahshur. “

On the other hand politicians and commentators have criticized the president for failing in his first test. Some now call him “President of Gaza” due to his concern with affairs in Gaza.

Karam Gabriel, a lawyer and human rights activist, said that Dr. Mohamed Morsy bears full responsibility for the events of Dahshur, stressing that he cares about foreign matters such as the Gaza Strip at the expense of the Egyptians and the Christians who are being assaulted in an ongoing basis and are displaced.

Renowned Egyptian novelist and rights activist Alaa Al-Aswany wrote on his Twitter account a message to those who belittle the events of Dahshur, saying “What if the Americans acted the same way as the extremists of Dahshur, would you accept the expulsion of Muslims of America in response to Ben Laden’s terrorism?”

The Shoura Chamber (Parliamentary Advisory Council), during its session this morning decided to form a committee to go to Dahshur, “to reconcile the citizens.”

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Breaking: 20 Palestinians Killed by Artillery

8 Palestinian Arab civilians were killed as a barrage of artillery shells were fired on the Yarmouk camp. (UPDATE: The death toll is now 20!)

Two children who were killed were apparently brothers, Anas Ahmad Tlozi and Ibrahim Ali Tlozi.

Several shells exploded on Ja’una Street in the camp, which also injured 25 civilians. Many of them are in serious condition at a nearby hospital.

Residents of the camp appealed to the UN to help protect them from the withering fire of the enemy.

This terrible event will no doubt generate endless op-eds and condemnations from Palestinian sympathizers.

Hold on….I just received an update: The Yarmouk camp is in Syria, not Gaza.

Oh, forget it then. No one cares about dead Palestinians when they are killed by Arabs!

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Far East

China Region Bans Muslims From Fasting During Ramadan

Guidance posted on numerous government websites called on Communist Party leaders to restrict Muslim religious activities during the holy month, including fasting and visiting mosques.

Xinjiang is home to around nine million Uighurs, a Turkic speaking, largely Muslim ethnic minority, many of whom accuse China’s leaders of religious and political persecution.

The region has been rocked by repeated outbreaks of ethnic violence, but China denies claims of repression and relies on tens of thousands of Uighur officials to help it govern Xinjiang.

A statement from Zonglang township in Xinjiang’s Kashgar district said that “the county committee has issued comprehensive policies on maintaining social stability during the Ramadan period.

“It is forbidden for Communist Party cadres, civil officials (including those who have retired) and students to participate in Ramadan religious activities.”

The statement, posted on the Xinjiang government website, urged party leaders to bring “gifts” of food to local village leaders to ensure that they were eating during Ramadan.

Similar orders on curbing Ramadan activities were posted on other local government websites, with the educational bureau of Wensu county urging schools to ensure that students do not enter mosques during Ramadan.

The holy month began in Xinjiang on July 20. The orders to curb religious activities were sent out across the region at different times, some before the start of Ramadan and some afterwards.

An exiled rights group, the World Uyghur Congress, warned the policy would force “the Uighur people to resist (Chinese rule) even further.”

“By banning fasting during Ramadan, China is using administrative methods to force the Uighur people to eat in an effort to break the fasting,” said group spokesman Dilshat Rexit in a statement.

Xinjiang saw its worst ethnic violence in recent times in July, 2009, when Uighurs attacked members of the nation’s dominant Han ethnic group in the city of Urumqi, sparking clashes in which 200 people from both sides died, according to the government.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Argentina: British Ships Banned From Docking in Buenos Aires

Ships flying the British ensign have been banned from docking in Argentina’s largest province under a new law passed yesterday.

The legislature of Buenos Aires province voted to prohibit vessels sailing under the British flag from “mooring, loading or carrying out logistical operations” in any of its ports.

The bill was brought forward by Patricia Cubría, a deputy belonging to President Cristina Kirchner’s Front for Victory coalition. It was nicknamed ‘Gaucho Rivero’ after Antonio Rivero, nicknamed the ‘Gaucho’, an Argentine cowboy who led an uprising in the Falkland Islands against the British in 1833.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Butch Anderson said...

If the Brits don't have the guts to stop the foreign invasion of their home islands why would the Argies think they will resist if they invade the Falklands. Goodbye Falklands, hello Malvinas.