Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120807

Financial Crisis
»Eurocrisis Buzzwords Made Easy
»Eurozone Crisis Hits German Industrial Orders
»Italian Recession Worries Deepen
»Italy: Downfall of a Tuscan Paradise
»Dupage County Sued After Denying Use Permit for Proposed Bartlett-Area Mosque
»Fight Against Islam Stretches Beyond Murfreesboro Mosque
»Illegal Aliens Can Vote, Military Can’t?
»Jared L. Loughner Pleads Guilty in 2011 Tucson Shootings
»Members of Other Religions Offer Support to Joplin Muslims
»Romney and the GOP’s Muslim Strategy
»Should NASA Ditch Manned Missions to Mars?
»Sikh Leaders Fear Wisconsin Gunman Believed He Was Targeting Muslims
»Sikh Hero Fought Neo-Nazi Wisconsin Gunman to Lay Down His Own Life for Others
»Spy vs. Spy, America vs. Israel
»The Socialist Behind RomneyCare
»US Mosque Burned to Ground
Europe and the EU
»France: Paris Tour Delves Into City’s African History
»French Muslims Demonstrate Over Ramadan Fast Suspension Case
»French Muslims Protest in Gennevilliers Against Islamophobia
»Germany: The Myth of Hitler’s Role in Building the Autobahn
»Germany: Berliners Rally to Save Historic Gas Lamps
»Raoul Wallenberg: The Swedish Oskar Schindler
»UK: Britain’s ‘Obsession’ With Wind Farms Will Push Up Family Electricity Bills by More Than £300 a Year, A Report Claimed Today.
»UK: Call to Action: Tell TFL to Say No to Al-Quds Day
»UK: David Cameron’s Leadership is Now at Risk
»UK: London 2012: Olympics Have Made England “Foul With Patriotism”, Says Morrissey
»UK: Manhunt After Woman Stabbed to Death in Taxi
»UK: Police Say People Held for ‘Public Order Offences’ During English Defence League Demonstration in Church Green, Keighley
»UK: Westerwelle: Germany Won’t Forget 1972 Olympic Attacks
»UK: Woman Sexually Assaulted at Knifepoint in Manchester City Centre
North Africa
»Egypt: Profound Changes Needed to End Christian-Muslim Clashes
»Egypt’s Women Demand End to Harassment
»New Egyptian Government Tested as Violence Erupts in Dahshur
Middle East
»British Bank ‘Laundered $250bn for Iran Regime’
»Standard Chartered Rejects US Iran Transaction Claims
»Syria: They Died in Front of Our Eyes — Families Blown to Pieces in Aleppo
»The Muslim Brotherhood Wants a Future for All Syrians
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Bus Bomb Kills Eight
»Afghanistan Attack: No Pressure on Hungary
»French Soldier and 10 Taliban Killed in Afghan Firefight
»India: Youth Dead, 2 Injured in Clash Over Mosque Loudspeakers in North Kashmir
»Israel Helps India Clean Up the Ganges River
»Kiwis Troops in Afghanistan to Widen Patrols
»Pakistan: Christian Leaders Demand Probe Into Poisonings
»Saudi Arabia Accuses Myanmar of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Of Muslims
»The Forgotten Coup in the Maldives
Australia — Pacific
»‘Aberdeenshire in Scotland Has More Gold Medals Than Australia’
»Australian Art Critic and Writer Robert Hughes Dies in New York
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Gunmen Kill 19 Christian Worshippers in Attack on Church in Nigeria
»Malian Radio Presenter Hospitalised After Gao Residents Prevent Islamist Amputation
»Nigeria: Boko Haram Latest — Jonathan Must Embrace Islam, Resign
»Nigeria: Gunmen Attack Church in Kogi, Kill 16
»Nigerian Church-Goers Massacred
»Somalia: Member of Parliament Shot and Killed Outside Mosque
»Chinese Students Search for Opportunity in Germany
»Greece: 6,000 Detained During Raids on Immigrants
»One in Four Polish Workers Living in Ireland Are on the Dole Says New Report
»Spanish Doctors and Nurses Protest Over Health Care Law for Immigrants
»UK: Looter Anderson Fernandes Jailed After Having One Lick of Ice Cream Faces Deportation
Culture Wars
»Progressive Fast Food: Because the World Can’t Wait
»The [Distorting] Speed of Progressivism
»The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia [Review]
»Did Black Holes Shape the Evolution of the Universe?
»Genes Tell Intricate Tale of Jewish Diaspora
»Muslim Holiday of Ramadan Under Way
»Two Separate Extinctions Brought End to Dinosaur Era

Financial Crisis

Eurocrisis Buzzwords Made Easy

As the euro crisis becomes more threatening, understanding the buzzwords is becoming more difficult. This guide explains some of the terms politicians and economists are using.


These are a very important element in the eurozone crisis. Everything revolves around bonds issued by national governments, known as government bonds. They’re the main reason why a country becomes financially unstable, or may even go bankrupt. Governments obtain money for their national budgets from investors through government bonds, as well as through national debt. The money is then paid back with interest over a period of six months, three years, or six to ten years.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Eurozone Crisis Hits German Industrial Orders

German industrial orders have declined considerably in June as a result of sluggish demand in the rest of the euro zone. It’s one more indication that the debt crisis is taking its toll on Europe’s biggest economy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italian Recession Worries Deepen

The Italian economy has contracted for the fourth quarter in a row despite all recent endeavors by Rome to curb the crisis. Demand for Italian goods has decreased further both at home and abroad, official data shows.

Italy’s economy — the third-largest in the 17-member eurozone — logged a 0.7-percent contraction in the second quarter of 2012, the national statistics office, Istat, announced on Tuesday.

Output decreased in all three sectors — agriculture, industry and services. On a year-on-year basis, Italy’s gross domestic product sunk by 2.5 percent. “If current trends continue, the country’s economy will shrink by 1.9 percent throughout 2012”, Istat said in a statement.

That would be far higher than originally expected by the European Commission which had forecast the economy to drop by only 1.4 percent this year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Downfall of a Tuscan Paradise

Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank, took five centuries to accumulate its wealth — and three years to gamble it away. Its fall from grace is a disaster for its home city of Siena, which relied on distributed profits from the bank. Now the picturesque Tuscan city is trying to come to terms with the new reality.

In retrospect, the bank’s fall from grace can be dated to 2007. It was a time of mergers, and it was widely believed that small banks no longer stood a chance on the global financial markets — not even a bank like MPS, which has been in business since 1472 and was lending money when Columbus was still learning how to sail.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Dupage County Sued After Denying Use Permit for Proposed Bartlett-Area Mosque

DuPage County is again being taken to court over its denial of a permit for an Islamic worship organization’s center near Bartlett.

Attorney Mark Daniel filed suit Friday afternoon in federal court on behalf of the Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs. The suit alleges that the county violated provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 in May when it refused to grant a conditional use permit. The organization sought clearance to open a worship center in a vacant house it bought four years ago in an unincorporated site along Army Trail Road, near the south edge of the village of Bartlett. The request faced vocal objections from some of the site’s neighbors.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Fight Against Islam Stretches Beyond Murfreesboro Mosque

by Bob Smietana

From zoning issues to school prayer, this looks like a battle with no end

For more than two years, Rutherford County has been in the middle of a perfect storm over Islam. While furor over the “ground zero” mosque in New York has faded, the dispute over the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro — which began around the same time — has only grown more intense. Fueled by fears that Muslims are gaining influence while Christians are losing clout, activists have battled to block construction of the Murfreesboro mosque. They’ve argued over the minutia of county zoning laws and whether Islam is a religion. And the fight is unlikely to end anytime soon.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Illegal Aliens Can Vote, Military Can’t?

Why is the Obama Campaign trying to disenfranchise military votes and at the same time, trying to make sure that illegal aliens remain on state voter rolls? Why are both political parties pandering for the Latino vote? Can illegal aliens vote now? The answer is yes, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

As Obama’s so-called Department of Justice sues numerous states to block military votes from being counted in the upcoming November election, they are also suing states to keep them from purging known illegal voters from voter registration files.

Just in case you needed iron-clad proof that Obama’s Democrat Party is as anti-American as Stalin’s Russia, this should do it for you. Directing the DOJ to use all of its power to block the vote of men and women who pay with their blood for every right to vote, while at the same time demanding that people not even in the U.S.A. legally, have their votes counted. That should cover any questions you might still have about Obama’s anti-American agenda for change.

And as usual, the good ole ACLU is engaged in protecting the illegal alien vote, but they are nowhere to be found in the fight to protect the military vote. There’s no link for the ACLU defense of the military vote, sorry.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Jared L. Loughner Pleads Guilty in 2011 Tucson Shootings

Jared L. Loughner pleaded guilty on Tuesday to carrying out a shooting rampage in Tucson last year that left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including Gabrielle Giffords, then a member of the House of Representatives. In exchange, the government has agreed not to seek the death penalty.

In the hearing in Federal District Court, Judge Larry A. Burns also found Mr. Loughner mentally competent to admit to the crimes.

Under the terms of the deal brokered by his defense team and the prosecution, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. The deal also means that victimsâ€(tm) relatives and the shootingâ€(tm)s survivors will not have to endure the prospect of sitting through a lengthy trial of uncertain outcome.

[Return to headlines]

Members of Other Religions Offer Support to Joplin Muslims

Several attended Saturday outreach event at mosque

JOPLIN, Mo. — Some local Christians and others who attended an event Saturday at the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque said they are saddened and dismayed about the fire that destroyed the mosque Monday morning. Authorities are calling the fire suspicious. A July 4 fire that caused minor damage to the roof of the mosque was labeled an arson fire.

Lahmuddin, the mosque’s imam, had invited members of local Christian churches and the United Hebrew Congregation on Saturday to share with Muslims a Ramadan meal and information about their religions.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Romney and the GOP’s Muslim Strategy

by Deepa Kumar

The new GOP Southern Strategy highlights Muslims and Arabs as the key threats to national security and “law and order.”

When Mitt Romney claimed that Israel’s “culture” is responsible for its economic superiority, he was recycling the “Southern Strategy”- this time with Muslims and Arabs added to the mix. The GOP devised the Southern Strategy in the 1960s and ‘70s as a way to win over white voters with subtle racial messages about crime and welfare. African-American men were coded as criminals to be locked up, and poverty was presented as a product of “black culture” not to be encouraged through government “handouts.” Romney’s backhanded hailing of Palestinian “culture” fits this framework.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Should NASA Ditch Manned Missions to Mars?

NASA’s overarching goal of sending astronauts to Mars may not be worth the time, money and trouble, a prominent researcher says.

A manned Mars mission would be incredibly expensive. NASA estimates peg the overall expenditures at about $100 billion over 30 or 40 years, Sherwood said, but those numbers may be too low. The International Space Station (ISS), after all, was initially anticipated to cost $10 billion over 10 years. But it ended up costing 10 times that, and took nearly three decades to assemble.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sikh Leaders Fear Wisconsin Gunman Believed He Was Targeting Muslims

Sikh leaders in India have called for a campaign to highlight their distinct religion amid fears that the gunman who killed six worshippers in their Wisconsin temple may have believed he was targeting Muslims.

The community also emphasised the sacrifices Sikh soldiers made for Britain and the United States in two world worlds. Their calls came as the Indian prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, and other political leaders condemned the attack. “I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting incident that has resulted in the loss of precious lives. That this senseless act of violence should be targeted at a place of religious worship is particularly painful,” he said. Investigators believe the gunman, who was shot dead by a police officer during their siege, was an army veteran suspected of holding white supremacist views. Sikhs in the United States have suffered an increase in attacks since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 by perpetrators seeking “revenge” who mistook them for Muslims.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sikh Hero Fought Neo-Nazi Wisconsin Gunman to Lay Down His Own Life for Others

A Sikh hero sacrificed his own life by fighting off a neo-Nazi gunman with a blunt ceremonial knife to save dozens of women, children and other worshippers from being shot down.

Sadwant Singh Kaleka, 65, the head of the Wisconsin temple’s unequal battle did not last long before he was gunned down by the racist killer but his heroism has been praised for giving vital time for other Sikhs to flee or hide. Mr Kaleka tried to stab Wade Michael Page, the white supremacist gunman before being shot twice and dying of his injuries during the Sunday morning attack on the Sikh temple he had dedicated his life to.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Spy vs. Spy, America vs. Israel

Israelis spying on Americans is in the news again: leaders of the Jewish state just petitioned for Jonathan Pollard’s release and the Associated Press reported with alarm that U.S. national security officials at times consider Israel to be “a genuine counterintelligence threat.” Its tone of breathless outrage suggests: How dare they! Who do they think they are?

But spying on allies is the norm, and it’s a two-way street. Before getting too worked up, Americans should realize that Washington is no innocent. From Reagan to Obama, the U.S. government has sustained a massive spying effort against Israel. Examples:


* A 5,000-word secret memorandum dated Oct. 31, 2008 (released by WikiLeaks), sent under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s name, catalogues topics that State wants information on. The very long list includes intelligence on “Israel’s decision-making process for launching military operations and determining retaliation for terrorist attacks”; “evidence of Government of Israel” involvement in “settlement and outpost growth” on the West Bank; details on Israel Defense Forces operations against Hamas, “including targeted assassinations and tactics/techniques used by ground and air units”; and everything about information technologies used by “government and military authorities, intelligence and security services.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Socialist Behind RomneyCare

A new report from researcher Trevor Loudon names one of the main architects of Romneycare in Massachusetts as a member of an international socialist movement. John E. McDonough, a former Ted Kennedy staffer who also played a significant role in passing Obamacare, is identified by Loudon as a former chair of the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a pro-Marxist group that is affiliated with the Socialist International.

McDonough is now a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Loudon is the blogger from New Zealand who broke the stories of Frank Marshall Davis being Obama’s communist mentor, and Van Jones having a communist background after his appointment as Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar.”

Loudon’s new report, which is potentially embarrassing to Mitt Romney as he tries to prove his conservative credentials, is headlined, “How DSA Marxists Influenced Health Policies for Both Major Presidential Candidates.”


Until the publication of Loudon’s report, however, McDonough had a reputation as a serious academic and policy analyst. His involvement in the Democratic Socialists of America, a far-left organization which openly and approvingly quotes Karl Marx, puts Obamacare into the context of socialist plans to remake the U.S. economy and reduce the influence of the private sector.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Mosque Burned to Ground

A mosque burned to the ground in Missouri on Monday, in what worshippers suspect was a hate attack, less than a day after six people were killed in a shooting at a Sikh temple.

Firefighters and police were called to a blaze at the Islamic Center in Joplin, Missouri — where around 125 members of the local Muslim community pray — at around 3:40am (0840 GMT), according to the FBI’s Kansas City office. “The building was completely destroyed,” said Sharon Rhine, a spokesman for the local Jasper County Sheriff’s office. No one was wounded in the incident. No one was apprehended. They don’t want to call it a hate crime without information or knowledge of having someone to charge,” Rhine said. Monday’s fire followed an attack on July 4, when an unidentified suspect threw a petrol bomb onto the roof of the same mosque, causing minor damage.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Paris Tour Delves Into City’s African History

Black Paris Tours shows visitors the city’s long African history beyond just Josephine Baker. Founder Ricki Stevenson says her clients leave Paris with a new understanding of the city and of their own place in the world.

A group of tourists file into the lobby of the fine Art Deco concert hall the Salle Pleyel to hear tour guide Ricki Stevenson turn the landmark of Parisian culture into a landmark of the rich common history of black America and the City of Light.

“This was where, in 1934, Louis Armstrong made his first Paris performances,” she said, adding that he stayed in the French capital for four years.

Facing segregation in the United States, getting to France was a relief for black American artists, musicians, political activists, soldiers and writers. After arriving in France, many would heed the advice of novelist William Wells Brown and climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe “where you are free.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

French Muslims Demonstrate Over Ramadan Fast Suspension Case

These demonstrators in front of the townhall say, the four young men who were suspended were victims of Islamophobia.

The four youth had been working at a children’s holiday camp when an inspector from the townhall found they were on a Ramadan fast. All four were suspended on grounds of incompetence to handle children during a fast. Since then, neither the youth nor the mayor have responded to media requests. THe head of the UMP party Jean-Francois Cope has strongly criticized the decision of the Mayor of Gennevilliers, but organisors say, the problem lies in the wider political spectrum. The local mosque of Gennevelliers has offered to mediate between the townhall and the victims, but organisors say the challenge lies at the national level. For Muslims in France, this is yet another case of Islamophobia that comes straight from ground level politicians.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French Muslims Protest in Gennevilliers Against Islamophobia

Press TV reports from a demonstration in Gennevilliers against the sacking (since withdrawn) of four Muslims workers at a summer camp run by the local authority. They were dismissed on the grounds that their fasting for Ramadan supposedly made them unfit to carry out their duties and they represented a threat to the safety of the young people they were supervising. Gennevilliers has a Communist mayor, Jacques Bourgoin, who initially supported the sackings, and his position was strongly supported by the far-right Front National who stated: “Those who oppose this wise decision are making a mockery of the principles of safety and secularism.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany: The Myth of Hitler’s Role in Building the Autobahn

Many people still believe that the Nazis invented the famous German autobahn, and that the construction work helped eradicate mass unemployment in Germany. But this is a historical fiction. Adolf Hitler takes a spade and sticks it firmly into a heap of sand. One of the soldiers standing around him photographs the Führer, documenting the start of work on another stretch of the famous German autobahn. The image, typical of its time, was circulated nationwide, especially in the regions where little stretches of the “Reichsautobahn” were being built.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany: Berliners Rally to Save Historic Gas Lamps

No city in the world has more gas streetlights than Berlin. But plans to convert these to electricity have some Berliners incandescent with rage.

And there was light. In 1826, the people of Berlin still traveled in horse-drawn carriages and promenaded on Sundays in starched collars along the boulevard Unter den Linden. But only during the day — at night, the streets were still shrouded in pitch darkness. This was to change dramatically when gas lighting came to Berlin — and the streets were bathed in warm yellow glow.

Today, gas streetlights are a rare technology, antiques of the first order. Some models were even designed by no less than the Prussian architect and master builder Karl Friedrich Schinkel, whose buildings still dominate the Berlin cityscape. But that may soon be changing. The Berlin government wants to scrap most of its 44,000 gas lanterns — more than half the world’s estimated remaining stock of 80,000. Lights that have survived all the turmoil of the times: the German Empire, two world wars, the communist East German regime and the Berlin Wall.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Raoul Wallenberg: The Swedish Oskar Schindler

Raoul Wallenberg was born 100 years ago on Saturday. In 1944, he saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis, only to be arrested and shot by the Soviets. Details of his death are still scarce.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Britain’s ‘Obsession’ With Wind Farms Will Push Up Family Electricity Bills by More Than £300 a Year, A Report Claimed Today.

The Government’s green energy plans for the next eight years are a £124billion ‘blunder’ that will hit every UK household, a senior British economist has also said.

In a stark warning Professor Gordon Hughes, who has produced a study on how wind energy will hit energy costs, said that British consumers simply cannot afford to subsidise wind power.

Prof Hughes is one of the UK’s leading energy economists and works at the prestigious University of Edinburgh. He was also a senior adviser on energy and environmental policy at the World Bank.

By 2020 average electricity bills will be around 58 per cent higher — a £320 increase — just because of the flood of wind turbines planned for Britains’s coastlines, fields and seas, he said.

Completing the gloomy picture, Professor Hughes believes for all the huge investment in wind farms Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions may not even fall.

Wind energy provides almost 2 per cent of global electricity worldwide, a figure expected to approach 10 per cent by 2020, costing Britain an estimated £124 billion.

‘The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple,’ he said.

‘They require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible.

‘Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder.

‘The average household electricity bill would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020.’

The report has been published by former Chancellor Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Their study has been handed to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change study for the Economics of Wind Power Committee.

Meanwhile, Professor Ian Fells, who is Professor of Energy Conversion at Newcastle University and an advisor the Commons and Lords, also said that windfarms are too costly.

Instead he claims that combined gas cycle plants could produce the same amount of green energy for £13billion — nearly 10 times cheaper than wind power.

‘Wind energy is the most expensive way of generating renewable electricity,’ he said.

‘It will also cost jobs. We are already seeing some industrial firms packing up and moving abroad. The increasing price of energy is going to be the next big political problem.’

However, the Government was keen today to defend its green energy policies.

‘Wind power is a homegrown, secure and sustainable source of energy with an important role as part of a balanced energy mix,’ a spokesman said.

‘Over-reliance on any one technology could have serious consequences for consumer bills. That’s why we want to see a diverse energy mix with renewables, nuclear, clean coal and gas all playing a part.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: Call to Action: Tell TFL to Say No to Al-Quds Day

Londoners should be worried that the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a khomeinist organisation, has advertisements running on London buses advertising the upcoming al-Quds day march on Friday 17th August. The IHRC is a charity in the United Kingdom. Its accounts are 95 days overdue. Transport for London should redact any further advertising from the IHRC. Contrary to its name, its interests have little to do with the promotion of human rights and much to do with the advancement of Islamism and groups like the terrorist proxy-army of Iran, Hizbullah.

Consider the following:

For some time, the IHRC has been campaigning for the “Blind Sheikh”, Omar Abdel Rahman: the spiritual leader of, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, which later were consolidated into Al Qaeda. He was an associate of Bin Laden, and his teacher, Abdullah Azzam. Having moved to New York to fundraise for Al Qaeda, the Blind Sheikh was convicted of various charges arising from the the World Trade Center 1993 bombings.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: David Cameron’s Leadership is Now at Risk

by Paul Goodman

Imagine a civil partnership of which one member suddenly announced to the world: “My partner has refused to cook me any food. So I am refusing to give him any sex. But don’t worry for a moment: we must now restore balance to our relationship, allowing us to draw a line under these events and get on with our civil partnership.” Such a proclamation would scarcely persuade friends of the happy couple that the arrangement had much of a future. I apologise in advance if the comparison is in any way offensive, but this is roughly what Nick Clegg seemed to say yesterday when he declared that since some Conservative backbenchers didn’t support Lords reform he will now require all Liberal Democrat frontbenchers to oppose the boundary review.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: London 2012: Olympics Have Made England “Foul With Patriotism”, Says Morrissey

Singer Morrissey has attacked the “blustering jingoism” of the London 2012 Olympics, asking: “Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism?”

The singer claimed the Royal Family have “hijacked” the Games and said “the spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain”. In a message to fans on his website, the former Smiths frontman wrote: “I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event. Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism? “The ‘dazzling royals’ have, quite naturally, hi-jacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. It is lethal to witness. “As London is suddenly promoted as a super-wealth brand, the England outside London shivers beneath cutbacks, tight circumstances and economic disasters. Meanwhile the British media present 24-hour coverage of the ‘dazzling royals’, laughing as they lavishly spend, as if such coverage is certain to make British society feel fully whole. “In 2012, the British public is evidently assumed to be undersized pigmies, scarcely able to formulate thought.”


[JP note: Too stupid to recognise London 2012 is Berlin 1936 in reverse.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Manhunt After Woman Stabbed to Death in Taxi

A man being hunted after a woman was stabbed to death in a taxi is thought to have been known by the victim, police have said.

Police said the man and the woman are thought to have been travelling together in the taxi and may have been involved in a relationship.

The taxi driver called emergency services after the attack, in the Northfield area of Birmingham, but the woman could not be saved.

Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jones said: “Officers have sealed off the scene of this incident, and are making significant inquiries in the local area, as we conduct searches for a man who we believe ran from the scene.

“We appeal for witnesses to the incident to come forward as well as anyone who may have been in the area and seen a man running from the vicinity of Dimsdale Road and Hoggs Lane at around 8am today (Tuesday).”

Forensic officers at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Birmingham

The woman has not yet been formally identified, but she is believed to have been in her early 20s.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said the woman suffered multiple serious injuries and that an air ambulance had been deployed.

He added: “The woman was in traumatic cardiac arrest with multiple stab wounds. Emergency treatment was immediately carried out, including specialist advanced life-support techniques.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of all medics in attendance, nothing could be done to save the woman and she was confirmed dead at the scene.”

A white police tent was put up in the road and forensic investigators seached the surrounding area, including nearby front gardens.

The man is described as a mixed race Asian male, around 5ft 8ins tall and in his mid 20s. He was wearing a dark jacket.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

UK: Police Say People Held for ‘Public Order Offences’ During English Defence League Demonstration in Church Green, Keighley

Five people were arrested during a demonstration by the far-right English Defence League (EDL) against alleged sexual grooming, police said today. A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the arrests were all for “public order offences” and came either during or after the extremist group held its protest in Church Green, Keighley , on Saturday.

Those arrested have now been released on bail pending further inquiries. However, the spokesman could not say how many extra officers were drafted in to police the demonstration, or how much it cost.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Westerwelle: Germany Won’t Forget 1972 Olympic Attacks

At a memorial ceremony in London on Monday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and British Prime Minister David Cameron said the world must never forget the attacks in 1972 on Israeli athletes at the Munich Games. Speaking in London’s 800-year-old Guildhall at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympic Games, Westerwelle said: “I assure you that Germany has not forgotten.” Westerwelle also emphasized that Germany would “stand by Israel,” saying the recent attacks on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria showed that the terrorist threat was still a reality.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Woman Sexually Assaulted at Knifepoint in Manchester City Centre

A woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint during a night out in the city centre. The woman, in her 20s, was followed by a man from the top of Canal Street along Portland Street after becoming separated from a group of friends. When she reached Rain Bar on Great Bridgewater Street, he shouted to get her attention before brandishing a flick knife. He then dragged her down an alleyway and sexually assaulted her as he held the knife to her neck. He fled off after being distracted by a passing car. It is not being linked to the series of attacks that have taken place in Moss Side over the last three weeks. The man in the city centre attack is black, in his late 20s, 5ft7, athletic build with a flat nose, thin moustache, chin length hair and a gold tooth.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Profound Changes Needed to End Christian-Muslim Clashes

After a fight leads to clashes and a hundred Christian families fleeing for their lives, Said Shehata points out some short- and long-terms steps necessary to end the frequent violence

What happened in Dahshour last week confirms that there is a deep problem in Egyptian society. What I call “the sectarian syndrome” bluntly describes the crisis between Christians and Muslims. The current environment is unhealthy to build bridges between the two sides. The reactions by President Morsi and other organisations in Egypt, such as the Shura Council (upper house of parliament) and the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights are good and necessary, but they are not enough to end the repeated clashes between the two sides in different regions, such as Koshh, Al-Zawaya Al-Hamra, Atfiah and others. There are structural changes needed to tackle the roots of the problem.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Women Demand End to Harassment

Security forces are nearly non-existent on the streets of Egypt and an increasing number of women fall victim to sexual harassment. Harassers target protesters in what some call politically motivated abuse.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

New Egyptian Government Tested as Violence Erupts in Dahshur

by Michael Terheyden

KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) — Much of the Coptic Christian community in the city of Dahshur went up in smoke last week. Dahshur is located about 40 kilometers south of Cairo, and it is known for its ancient pyramids. This incident is being reported as the worst since Muslim mobs clashed with the Copts in Imbaba, Giza over a year ago. It is also being seen as the first great test of the newly elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi, and his Muslim Brotherhood.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

British Bank ‘Laundered $250bn for Iran Regime’

Standard Chartered, one of Britain’s most distinguished global banks, has been accused by US regulators of laundering $250bn from Iran and behaving like a “rogue institution”, in the latest catastrophic blow to the international reputation of the City of London. In an explosive legal order last night, New York state’s Department of Financial Services accused the New York branch of the 160-year-old institution of leaving the US financial system “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes” through its “flagrantly deceptive actions” between 2001 and 2010. The regulator said that the branch of the UK-based bank had earned millions of dollars in fees by “conspiring” with the pariah Gulf state in around 60,000 “secret transactions”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Standard Chartered Rejects US Iran Transaction Claims

Standard Chartered has rejected US claims that it “schemed” with Iran to conduct secret transactions worth $250bn (£160bn), insisting that “99.9pc of the transactions” complied with regulations.

The bank’s London listed shares plunged nearly 15pc on Tuesday after New York’s top financial regulator claimed “flagrantly deceptive actions” by the British bank left the US “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: They Died in Front of Our Eyes — Families Blown to Pieces in Aleppo

The Daily Telegraph’s Richard Spencer was just yards from the scene of the latest tragedy in Syria after missiles fired by Bashar al-Assad’s air force wiped out 11 women and children.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians, the UN says, have fled Aleppo in the last two weeks. Not enough. The Kayali and Katab families stayed and thought they would be safe if they sheltered in their basement, but they were wrong. They could not have seen and may not have heard the MiG fighter jets that rose, looped and turned in on their three-storey home from the north. The attack went silent as it struck and killed them, the quiet missiles outpacing the sound of the engines.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Muslim Brotherhood Wants a Future for All Syrians

by Ali al-Bayanouni

Those seeking to distort our noble revolution insult the people giving their lives for democracy

The future of democracy in Syria is the subject of many concerns: people are worried about the treatment of minorities and women, possible acts of revenge, and the likelihood of transitional justice. Some ask about universal human rights. Others exaggerate fears of religious tyranny. But ultimately all these anxieties — intentionally or unintentionally — only serve the interests of the rapists and child killers of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. We believe the position to take on Assad and his cabal is essentially a moral one. It is no longer a matter of political debate. Syrians must put their case to the court of global public opinion in the following direct manner: Assad, are you prepared to accept thousands of documented crimes, the torture of children and the rape of women by the state apparatus that should protect them?


[Reader comment by TickTackToe on 6 August 2012 at 9:18 pm.]

Hi, and thanks for the article, but I’m afraid that you may have published it in the wrong place. The Guardian is a socially liberal newspaper. You represent a theological movement which starts somewhat to the right of Margaret Thatcher and veers to the right from there. You represent a movement which wishes to impose theological rule, and which stands against every liberal progression that society has made over the last 100 years. I’m not sure why you think you’ll get a good reception here.

[Reader comment by DisaffectedYouth on 6 August 2012 at 9:40 pm.]

How much more editorial space do you plan to give to the fundamentalist, reactionary, authoritarian Muslim Brotherhood? This is at least the third, if not the fourth article from them we’ve seen on CiF. It says a lot about the current state of the Guardian, and of the left in general, I think…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Bus Bomb Kills Eight

A terrorist bomb in Aghanistan has caused several civilian fatalities. With speculation that the attack was intended to kill government officials, tension about the security situation in the country is set to rise. A Taliban bomb killed at least eight Afghan civilians when it was detonated by remote control on a bus just northwest of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, local police said. Five others were also wounded in the attack, which took place at 7:00 a.m. local time in Paghman district, Kabul province.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan Attack: No Pressure on Hungary

Prime Minister John Key says he will not put diplomatic pressure on Hungary to force its troops in Afghanistan to help stop attacks on New Zealand troops in the Bamiyan province.

Kiwi soldiers are extending their patrols further into the “badlands” east of Bamiyan to intercept insurgents responsible for an attack that killed two New Zealanders and injured six more. The move was approved by Cabinet after a New Zealand base at Do Abe was attacked yesterday morning but there were no casualties.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French Soldier and 10 Taliban Killed in Afghan Firefight

A French soldier and up to 10 Taliban fighters were killed in an early morning ambush and subsequent firefight during a joint operation on Tuesday with the Afghan army in Kapisa province.

A statement from French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office said a soldier died and another was wounded “during a clash with insurgents”. Also on Tues morning, two bombs near the Afghan capital Kabul killed nine people, with one attack targeting a Nato military base in Logar province. The statement said the soldiers were from the elite 13th Chasseurs Alpin Battalion. The dead soldier was “part of an assistance team advising Afghan units”.

The French military in Paris said that around 130 French soldiers came under small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attack at around 6:00 am local time (1.20 GMT) while securing an area near a bridge outside Tagab village. Bertrand Bonneau , French chief-of-staff spokesman, said that around 10 Taliban were killed during the firefight that followed the ambush and that an Afghan soldier was also wounded.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Youth Dead, 2 Injured in Clash Over Mosque Loudspeakers in North Kashmir

Violence that broke out between two Muslim sects over the use of loudspeakers at mosques in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal left a youth dead and two others grievously injured on Monday afternoon. Two groups of people praying at a mosque in Sendabal village, 30km north of Srinagar, entered into an argument soon after their afternoon prayers over the use of public address system. Eyewitnesses told Hindustan Times over phone that the argument was over the issue of use of loudspeakers during prayers or not. “There was a verbal duel inside the mosque. It turned violent. There was nothing pre-planned in the clash. Heated arguments turned into sectarian clash on the spur of a moment. Three people were hit with some hard object. One of them succumbed to his injuries,” Ganderbal superintendent of police Shahid Mehraj told Hindustan Times.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel Helps India Clean Up the Ganges River

It has been 26 years since India embarked on a lofty plan to restore the heavily polluted Ganges river. But the project has seen many setbacks. Now, with fresh cash from the World Bank, the river might make a recovery.

On its journey south and east from the Western Himalayas, through the Gangetic Plain of North India and on to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows for over 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles). More than 400 million people dwell in its basin and depend on its life source. It’s one of the world’s 20 largest rivers — and also one of the most polluted on the planet.

In places, the once sacred, life-giving Ganges has become a cesspool, polluted with fecal waste, semi-cremated bodies, and water-borne disease.

In its $3 billion (2.4 billion euros) quest to restore the Ganges to health, the Indian government is turning to an unlikely source — Israel — a tiny, arid Middle East country that is producing world-leading water technology.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Kiwis Troops in Afghanistan to Widen Patrols

Kiwi troops in Afghanistan are planning changes to their operations after two attacks in less than two days, one of which resulted in the deaths of two soldiers. Lance corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, who were part of New Zealand’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan, were killed after their armoured vehicles were attacked on Saturday night (NZ time). Six other New Zealand soldiers were injured. The Taleban reportedly claimed responsibility for the deaths. In an attack today, insurgents got within 50 to 100 metres of the New Zealand base, which is on the outskirts of the small mining town of Do Abe. Prime Minister John Key this afternoon revealed Cabinet had agreed to a request from Defence Force chief Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones for some operational changes to the Kiwi mission in Bamiyan.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Christian Leaders Demand Probe Into Poisonings

Pakistan’s minority Christian community leaders have demanded an inquiry into the alleged poisoning of nine Christian nurses by their Muslim colleagues at a government-run hospital in Karachi.

Earlier this week, nine Christian nurses fell sick after drinking tea which they claim had been poisoned at Karachi’s Civil Hospital. The nurses alleged they were deliberately poisoned by their colleagues because of their faith.

Some leaders of Pakistan’s Christian community suggested that the nurses were given poisoned tea because they were not fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. However, Pakistani officials have denied the claims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Accuses Myanmar of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Of Muslims

Saudi Arabia accused authorities in Buddhist-majority Myanmar on Monday of “ethnic cleansing” against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the west of the country, state media reported on Tuesday. The Saudi cabinet said it “condemns the ethnic cleansing campaign and brutal attacks against Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya citizens, as well as violation of human rights by forcing them to leave their homeland,” in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. The cabinet, chaired by King Abdullah, urged the “international community to take up its responsibilities by providing needed protection and quality of life to Muslims in Myanmar and preventing further loss of life.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Forgotten Coup in the Maldives

by Samuel Coates

“I first addressed the Conservative conference three years ago. Since then, against the odds, my party has defeated the dictatorship that reigned over the people of my country for thirty long years. And it was in no small part thanks to the efforts of our friends in the Conservative Party. I have come here today to say thank you.” - Mohamed Nasheed, 2009 party conference

Six months ago today, the Maldives’ first ever democratically elected President was removed from power in a coup d’état. The full story of what really happened in this beautiful archipelago has hardly been told, and still less listened to. The vested interests that outweighed the democratic interests. The efforts to make the coup permanent (which is where this weekend’s revelations about Baroness Scotland come in, who I have reason to believe has been less than entirely open in her explanations). And the Conservative Party’s proud history, and hopefully future, in supporting democracy in the Maldives.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

‘Aberdeenshire in Scotland Has More Gold Medals Than Australia’

Australia’s lacklustre performance at the London Olympics has left the country reeling as it drops behind the UK on the medal table but it is New Zealand’s success that really rankles.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates has downgraded his medal expectations from 46 to between 30 and 36, ruling out a top-five finish. Goldman Sachs had predicted that Australia would finish fifth in the medal table with 15 golds, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. So far they the country is languishing in 19th place in the medals table having won just a single gold in the first week’s swimming and a sailing gold today.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australian Art Critic and Writer Robert Hughes Dies in New York

Australian writer and art critic Robert Hughes, whose works include “The Fatal Shore” and “The Shock of the New,” died on Monday in New York, his publishers said.

Hughes, 74, died after a long illness, publishers Alfred A. Knopf said in a statement. “We are very sad to report that the renowned critic and art historian Robert Hughes died today in New York after a long illness,” the publishing house said. Hughes, known for his acerbic wit and criticism of modern art, moved to New York in the 1970s where he lived until his death. He began his career as a cartoonist and later an art critic in Sydney before moving to Europe and later the United States where he landed a job as art critic for Time magazine.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Gunmen Kill 19 Christian Worshippers in Attack on Church in Nigeria

At least 19 people have been killed after gunmen opened fire on worshippers in an evangelical Christian church in central Nigeria.

“The attack was from unknown gunmen at the Deeper Life Church,” said Lt. Col. Gabriel Olorunyomi, head of the military’s Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kogi state, “They were doing their normal Monday evening service. When we went there we discovered the church had been attacked. Instantly we saw 15 people dead, including the pastor.” The military has since learned that an additional four people had died from their injuries.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Malian Radio Presenter Hospitalised After Gao Residents Prevent Islamist Amputation

A Malian radio presenter was in “intense pain” in hospital in Gao on Monday after a severe beating by Islamists who control the northern Mali town. The beating appeared to be punishment for reporting that local residents had prevented the amputation of a thief’s hand on Sunday. The man appointed police chief by the Islamists, Aliou Mahamar, told RFI that Abdoul Malick Maiga had been beaten on his orders and left outside the hospital. Hundreds of residents protested against Maiga’s detention on Sunday night, setting light to Mahamar’s car. Doctors say that Maiga regained consciousness overnight but was still in “intense pain”. Earlier on Sunday protesters packed Gao’s Place de l’Indépendance and prevented the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), which controls the city, from cutting off a thief’s hand.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Latest — Jonathan Must Embrace Islam, Resign

The Jamaatu Ahlis Sunnah Lil Daawati wal Jihad, popularly called Boko Haram, has said that it would not negotiate with any government representative and had no plans to do so.

In a half-hour video made in Hausa and posted on YouTube, the sect called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign and also accept Islam. The video appeared more of a tirade of abuse with the group offering no logical explanation or reason for its demands and positions. In the video, which was made by the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in the form of an Islamic lecture, the sect claimed that “it doesn’t kill “women and children, but those who have offended us, arrested our people and killed them.” It also claimed that some people were committing evil acts in its name and that it would go after such people. The sect also rejected any plans by the federal government to legislate on the number of children Nigerians could have, describing such proposal as ‘blasphemy.’


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Gunmen Attack Church in Kogi, Kill 16

Gunmen numbering about 10 last night stormed the Deeper Life Bible Church at Otite in Adavi Local Government Council of Kogi State, killing about 16 worshippers in the process.

The attack is coming on the heels of a similar one in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Sunday night, where four people were feared killed in their homes by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect. Also, some unidentified gunmen Monday attacked a police station in Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State. However, an eyewitness account said members of the Deeper Life Bible Church were attending night service when the gunmen struck. The eyewitness further stressed that students of the Federal College of Education and motorists travelling across the town either to the Northern or Southern parts of the country had to take cover to avoid the rampaging of the gunmen. The gunmen were said to have arrived the church in a Toyota Hiace bus and immediately started shooting sporadically as they made their way into the church.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigerian Church-Goers Massacred

Nigerian religious worshippers have been killed whilst attended a church service. Radical Islamist group Boko Haram has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Gunmen opened fire at an evangelical church service in central Nigeria killing the congregation’s leader and at least 18 worshippers while injuring several others, military officials said on Tuesday.

The attack, at Deeper Life church in the town of Otite in Kogi state, 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of the Nigerian capital Abuja, was reportedly carried out by radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

During the service, armed men surrounded the church, and opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles, Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi said.

As police and armed soldiers cordoned off the church following the attack, gathered witnesses told the Associated Press that pools of blood had stained the church floor.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Somalia: Member of Parliament Shot and Killed Outside Mosque

Garowe, Somalia — A member of the Puntland Parliament was shot and killed outside a mosque as he was making his way home from morning prayer on Monday, Garowe Online reports. Abdisalan Sheikh Mohamud Shaybe was killed as he had finished the morning-prayer at the Al Huda mosque in Garowe. The gunman had waited for MP Shaybe to finish reciting the Quran after the MP had finished performing his prayer.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Chinese Students Search for Opportunity in Germany

More Chinese students study abroad than any other nationality. Increasingly, they are choosing universities in Germany, where science and engineering professionals are in high demand.

The Chinese are the most academically mobile population on the planet with more Chinese students studying abroad than any other nationality. Their top preferences are the United States and Great Britain, with Germany coming in third place. In fact, there are so many Chinese students in Germany that they make up the biggest group of foreigners at universities here.

At a café at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), students are chatting, drinking coffee and talking on their phones.

One of them is Weijian Ji, a Chinese student who has nearly finished his degree in IT after more than six years in Germany. Weijian explains that he wanted to study overseas because it was a way for him to get around that fact that his family lacks the networks he would need to get ahead in China.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: 6,000 Detained During Raids on Immigrants

Authorities in Greece are rounding up thousands of suspected illegal immigrants in a large-scale deportation drive to combat what a government official compared to a prehistoric invasion.

Greece has long been Europe’s main entry point for illegal immigrants from Asia and Africa seeking a better life in the West. But Greece’s severe economic problems and high unemployment are making the problem worse than ever.

Police said Monday that 6,000 people were detained over the weekend in Athens in a massive operation incongruously named after the ancient Greek god of hospitality, Zeus Xenios.

Officers across the city were seen stopping mostly African and Asian people in the street for identification checks. Most were only briefly detained, but about 1,600 were arrested for illegally entering Greece and sent to holding centers pending deportation.

Left-wing opposition parties criticized the crackdown, while the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees voiced concern that migrants from war-torn countries and genuine asylum-seekers could be denied the right of protection.

Some 100,000 illegal immigrants are estimated to slip into Greece every year, mostly from neighboring Turkey, and up to a million are believed to live in Greece, which has an official population of about 10 million.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

One in Four Polish Workers Living in Ireland Are on the Dole Says New Report

Following a controversial remark from Judge Mary Devins about social welfare in Ireland being a “Polish charity,” statistics secured by the Sunday Independent reveal that 25 percent of Polish nationals living in Ireland are now on the dole.

In an opinion piece in the Irish Sunday Independent, columnist John Drennan says that while Judge Devins was forced to issue two apologies about her comments, statistics reveal that the Polish community in Ireland “are suffering even more heavily than Irish residents from the jobs crisis.”

Drennan says: “Currently, 100,162 Polish immigrants of working age are resident in Ireland and 23,905, or just under a quarter of these, are receiving some form of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit.

“Significantly, the statistics also reveal that whilst Polish citizens constitute 3.3 per cent of the population aged between 15 and 64, they account for 4.39 per cent of claimants of unemployment schemes that are open to the working population.”

He goes on to say that one of the key factors in the Polish worker unemployment rate is the collapse of the building and manufacturing industries.

“Of the 95,646 people receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit, 6,057 or 6.33 per cent of total recipients are Polish. Jobseekers Benefit is paid to individuals who have been in work and earned enough stamps via PRSI payments,” writes Drennan.

“Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is means tested, but is also paid to long-term employed individuals whose benefits have run out is currently being paid to 309,885 individuals, 14,051 or 4.53 per cent of which are Polish.

“Polish immigrant take-up of the Back to Work Allowance Scheme, which encourages unemployed people (among others) to take up employment is particularly high at 8.7 per cent or 1,044 of the total of 11,955 applicants.

“Relatively few Poles, 2.32 pe rcent or 2,083, are found amongst the 89,735 citizens on One-Parent Allowance, whilst the Polish take-up of other schemes such as Back to Education, Farm Assist and Pre-retirement allowance is even smaller. Currently 36,700 people are receiving such benefits, of which 670 or 1.83 per cent are Poles.

He concludes: “The figures indicate that whilst unemployment levels are relatively high amongst the Polish community, the overall impact on Irish unemployment figures and costs — 23,905 or 4.39 per cent of the total — is still peripheral.”

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Spanish Doctors and Nurses Protest Over Health Care Law for Immigrants

Hundreds of Spanish health care workers are registering as conscientious objectors in protest at a new law that requires them to deny treatment to illegal immigrants.

A new royal decree to be passed on Friday and that comes into effect as of September 1 rules strips illegal immigrants of their right to free health care in Spain. It means that immigrants who do not have residency cards will be denied treatment at public hospitals and health care centres unless they are under 18, pregnant, or in case of emergency. The ruling is part of a series of austerity measures brought in by Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government to slash public spending in a bid to meet budget deficit targets imposed by Brussels.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Looter Anderson Fernandes Jailed After Having One Lick of Ice Cream Faces Deportation

A looter who was jailed after making himself an ice cream and giving it away after one lick has said his ‘stupid decision’ has ruined his life. Anderson Fernandes, 22, has been in custody at a detention centre since he was freed from his 16-month prison term in April. He was jailed less than three weeks after the riots for wandering into Patisserie Valerie on Deansgate and making a two-scoop ice cream. He left DNA at the scene and was hauled before a judge after admitting burglary and an unconnected charge of handling a stolen vacuum cleaner. Dad-of-one Fernandes, of Lewisham Avenue, Newton Heath, now faces being deported to his native Portugal — and being separated from his partner and daughter.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Progressive Fast Food: Because the World Can’t Wait

On August 1 last Wednesday, gangs of intractable thoughtcriminals converged at Chick-Fil-A restaurants in an outright rebellion against progressive values. Our undercover agents could barely record everyone’s license plates; they might have a better chance crossing a Nascar track during a race than getting across a Chick-Fil-A parking lot.

The lines inside Chick-Fil-A were longer than at the DMV or at the unemployment offices, although not as long as the projected hospital lines upon the implementation of ObamaCare. The average line could be compared to that at an airport security checkpoint, except there was no TSA agent at the end of it. By force of habit, some of our agents joined the line thinking there was a politician giving away freebies. If only General Motors could find a way to attract as many customers without having to support traditional marriage!


[NOTE: Click URL for great photos of Obamerica -D]

[Return to headlines]

The [Distorting] Speed of Progressivism

The transformation of Chick Fil A from a fast food place that most liberals had never even heard of into the “Enemy of the People” is a reminder of the speed at which progressivism travels forward and backward in time. A few months ago the CEO of Chick Fil A would have done nothing worse than echo a consensus so mainstream that it was adopted as a campaign position by the leftiest Democrat to sit in the White House. A few months later that same position is so outrageous that it leads to mass boycotts, threats of violence and mayors of dysfunctional urban centers threatening to drive the reactionary chicken franchise out of their cities.

One of the wonderful things about progressivism is that it defies the laws of physics and history. When the Democratic Party, a once notable national party that has been turned into a red shill for the sort of people who used to hang out in cafes and plot to blow things up in between free verse recitals, adopts a progressive position, that position instantly travels backward in time to alter history and create an entirely new past.

For example when the Democratic Party decided that its future lay not with racist white gerrymandered districts but racist black gerrymandered districts, its adoption of civil rights, formerly a Republican position that good Democrats had fought tooth and nail, actually traveled back in time transforming our nation’s history.


[Return to headlines]

The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia [Review]

by Daniel Hannan

In one of his Cicero novels, Robert Harris has the slave narrator, Tiro, wonder why anyone wants to build empires or raze cities when they might instead be sitting in the sunshine with a good book. I can’t remember when I last sat in the sunshine with such a pleasant feeling of anticipation as when carrying Roger Kimball’s wonderful book, The Fortunes of Permanence.

Kimball is one of the cleverest men alive, and has interesting things to say about almost everything: art, architecture, rhetoric, statecraft, theology, music, poetry, history. His prose style is a joy: erudite but never recondite, witty but never precious. He carries large chunks of the Western canon in his head, and can find an apt quotation for every situation without coming across as contrived. He is a master of the art (so clumsy in the wrong hands) of parenthesis.

The only reason that Kimball, editor of the cultural review The New Criterion, and publisher of Encounter Books, is not acknowledged as one of the great intellectuals of our age is that he is on the Right, and so occupies a place beyond the mental horizons of the commissioning editors who set the tone of our public discourse. Since there are as yet few signs of the cultural shift he would like to see, I’m afraid his recognition will be largely posthumous. Something similar might be said of his British equivalent, Roger Scruton, but that’s another story.

The Fortunes of Permanence is a collation of linked essays. Some centre on literary and philosophical figures: William Godwin, Rudyard Kipling, G.K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge. (Kimball, educated in Maine and at Yale, is the most penetrating Anglophile I know: he sees us as we are, with all our faults, and likes us anyway.) Others look at the major political currents of the past hundred years.

Kimball has three chief aims. First, to rescue the notion of high culture in an age where the sheer proliferation of outlets has prejudiced the idea of a canon of knowledge: ‘Data, data everywhere, but no one knows a thing’. Second, to destroy the notion that unfocused benevolence is a sound basis for a political programme. Third, to entertain.

This he does, beautifully. His piece on John Buchan, for example, is as fine as anything you’ll have come across. If, like me, you thought of Buchan mainly as a thriller writer, think again: he was anon-fiction author of outstanding quality. How refreshing to read an analysis which considers him on his merits rather than backdating modern notions of what constitutes an acceptable attitude to colonialism and blah blah fishcakes.

Kimball approvingly quotes a Chestertonian aperçu: ‘Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which you are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. It may be that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal, and that you are a paralytic’. Quite so. Next to its many other recommendations, this work is a glittering hoard of unfamiliar quotations. Here, for example, is a passage from Edmund Burke’s Appeal from the New Whigs (1791) which might serve as a theme for the entire book:

An ignorant man who is not fool enough to meddle with his clock, is however sufficiently confident to think he can safely take to pieces, and put together at his pleasure, a moral machine of another guise, importance and complexity, composed of far other wheels, and springs, and balances, and counteracting and co-operating powers. Men little think how immorally they act in rashly meddling with what they do not understand. Their delusive good intention is no sort of excuse for their presumption. They who truly mean well must be fearful of acting ill.

Such a brilliant insight profits from elaboration, and Kimball provides it, with a clarity of thinking that will have future generations reaching for him as we do for Burke. For example:

Multiculturalism is a moral intoxicant; its thrill centres around the emotion of superior virtue; its hangover subsists on a diet of nescience and blighted ‘good intentions’.

Spot on. A great deal of Leftism is based around the elevation of vaguely wanting the world to be nicer into a political philosophy. Not actually making the world nicer — quite the opposite, usually — but wanting it. It is the ultimate political narcissism, privileging the moralistic (holding the correct opinions) over the moral (doing the right thing). Looking back, I realise that I am making Kimball’s book sound far worthier and stodgier than it is. Kimball is every bit as entertaining on Hayek as he is on The Dangerous Book for Boys. There is even — joy of joys — a beautiful little coda about the Anglosphere. Like Horace, Kimball sets out to amuse as well as to inform. It is true, but incidental, that you will finish this book a better conservative and a more rounded human being than when you began. The real delight is in the reading.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Did Black Holes Shape the Evolution of the Universe?

In Gravity’s Engines, astrophysicist Caleb Scharf looks at the tremendous influence of black holes on cosmic development

“WE ARE stardust,” sang Joni Mitchell. Caleb Scharf might suggest an update to those lyrics. In Gravity’s Engines, Scharf adds a new insight to the half-century-old idea that most atoms in our bodies were born in exploding stars. He argues that some of those hydrogen atoms were likely touched by radiation from black holes — without which we wouldn’t be here.

Over the past few decades the scientific discussion of black holes — those whirligigs of space-time that generate gravitational fields so extreme not even light can escape — has progressed from debates over their existence to consensus that they occupy the heart of most galaxies. In Gravity’s Engines, Scharf, the director of the Astrobiology Center at Columbia University in New York, deftly recounts this history and clearly explains the science. But his goal is more ambitious: to show how black holes influenced the evolution of the universe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Genes Tell Intricate Tale of Jewish Diaspora

A new genetic map paints a comprehensive picture of the 2,000 or so years in which different Jewish groups migrated across the globe, with some becoming genetically isolated units while others seemed to mix and mingle more.

The new findings allow researchers to trace the diaspora, or the historical migration, of the Jews, which began in the sixth century B.C. when the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah. Some Jews remained in Judah under Babylonian rule, while others fled to Egypt and other parts of the Middle East. Jewish migrations have continued into the present day.

The study researchers found that the genomes of Jewish North African groups are distinct from one another, but that they show linkages to each other absent from their non-Jewish North African neighbors. The findings reveal a history of close-knit communities prone to intermarriage, said study leader Harry Ostrer of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

“Virtually all the Jewish groups we’ve studied tend to be quite closely related to one another,” Ostrer said. “It would seem for most Jewish groups, there is a biological basis for their Jewishness which is based on their sharing of DNA segments.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Muslim Holiday of Ramadan Under Way

This weekend marks the midway point of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for the world’s 1 billion Muslims.

Ramadan, which began July 20 and ends Aug. 19, is one of the “Five Pillars” of Islam. It requires that all able-bodied Muslims abstain from food, drink and other physical pleasures during each day from sunrise to sunset. The goal of the fast is to purify the body and soul, to embrace self-sacrifice and renew one’s focus on God. The fasting period also is accompanied by deeper prayer and study of the Quran. The fast is broken with communal meals involving family or a community of fellow believers.

Here are 10 Muslims who have changed the world:

1. Muhammad — As Islam’s founding prophet, Muslims believe the Quran was given directly to Muhammad by Allah, in 610. Most Muslims also believe Muhammad was the last of the prophets sent by God. A visit to his birthplace in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the destination of the “Hajj,” a pilgrimage all Muslims are to undertake at least once in their lifetime. Regarded as the holiest city in Islam, non-Muslims are prohibited from entering Mecca. Muhammad died in 632, and is buried in Medina, Saudi Arabia, in the confines of the home in which he died.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Two Separate Extinctions Brought End to Dinosaur Era

The mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was almost unprecedented in its size. There may be a simple reason why three-quarters of Earth’s species disappeared during the event — there were actually two extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous, each devastating species in distinct environments.

Famously, the dinosaurs met their end when a massive meteorite crashed into Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula around 65 million years ago. The extinction paved the way for the rapid evolutionary diversification of mammals.

But sceptics have long questioned whether the meteorite was solely responsible for the extinction. They point out that there were massive volcanic eruptions in India more than 100,000 years earlier, which triggered global warming that might have contributed to the species fatalities. But convincing evidence for those claims has proved elusive, so the impact has taken most of the blame.

A key problem has been finding sedimentary rocks that were formed at exactly the right time to capture all of the events that might have contributed to the extinction. The rocks need to contain plenty of fossils too, to reveal exactly when the various species disappeared.

Thomas Tobin at the University of Washington in Seattle has just found rocks that fit the bill on Seymour Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula. “It is really far south, so any climate changes are likely to be strongest there and have more biological effects,” he says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]