Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120810

Financial Crisis
»Crisis Drives More Southern Europeans to Germany
»Jerry Boykin, Romney’s New Muslim-Bashing Pal
»Missouri Churches Host Iftar for Muslims Whose Mosque Burned Down
»Muslim Leaders: Mitt Enables Bachmann
»New Boca Raton Mosque Will Reach Out to Neighbors
»New Violence Prompts Criticism of Anti-Muslim Lawmakers
»Suburban Muslims Say They’re Becoming “Punching Bag” For GOP
»Walsh: Muslims “Trying to Kill Americans”
»Walsh: Muslim Terror Threat Worse Than ‘Right After 9/11’
Europe and the EU
»France: Tensions Flare in France Over Veil Ban
»French Racist Couple Found Guilty of Attacking Young Muslims
»Germany: Militant Islamist Groups in Germany — How Serious is the Threat?
»U.S. Women Break World Record in Winning 4x100-Meter Relay
»UK Pays to Refit Foreign Prisons: Taxpayers Foot Bill to Revamp Jails in Nigeria and Jamaica So Criminals Can be Deported Without Breaching Their Human Rights
»UK: Gatwick Mosque Desecrated as 400 Held Ramadan Prayers Inside
»UK: Ignore the Prophets of Doom — This is a Golden Age for the World
»UK: London 2012: Africa Village Showcase Forced to Close Amid Acrimony
»UK: Peter Hitchens vs Mehdi Hasan
»UK: TV Review: Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right
»UK: Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right, BBC Two, Review
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel Fears New Generation of Jihadists on Its Borders
»Nazareth’s Sufis Bullied by Fellow Muslims
»West Bank Settlers Raise Fund to Purchase Palestinian Land
Middle East
»France Deploys Troops to Syria-Jordan Border
»Saudi Arabia: Give Way to the Guests of Islamic Solidarity Conference: Scholars
»Syria: UK to Give £5m to Rebels — Live Updates
South Asia
»Afghan Policeman Kills Several US Special Forces
»Afghan Police Chief Kills US Soldiers Invited to Dinner
»Afghanistan: U.S. Aid Worker Killed
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Islamist Extremists Cut Off Thief’s Hand in Northern Mali
»Obama’s Slumdog Brother: Meet the Hopeless Drunk From a Nairobi Shanty Town Who is the U.S. President’s Brother
Latin America
»Car Bombs Cause Major Blackout in Southwest Colombia

Financial Crisis

Crisis Drives More Southern Europeans to Germany

There has been a major jump in the number of southern Europeans working in Germany over the last year, the Federal Employment Agency reported on Thursday. Experts view it as a sign that the crisis is triggering a flood of jobseekers who are headed to the more prosperous north.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Jerry Boykin, Romney’s New Muslim-Bashing Pal

by Alex Seitz-Wald

Romney meets with Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who has said Islam “should not be protected under the First Amendment”

He may be too extreme for West Point and George W. Bush, but apparently not for Mitt Romney. Politico reports today that the Republican presidential nominee met with retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who is now a highly controversial anti-Islam activist, in a private conclave with four other social conservative leaders in Denver last week. The day after the meeting reportedly took place, Romney dodged a question on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government. “I’m not going to tell other people what things to talk about. Those are not things that are part of my campaign,” he said at a press availability about Bachmann’s allegations last Friday.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Missouri Churches Host Iftar for Muslims Whose Mosque Burned Down

Churches in a Missouri City came together to help support and organize an iftar for the local Muslim community after a suspicious fire burned down their mosque. Congregations in Joplin worked alongside the local Muslim community and the Council on American Islamic Relations to hold the iftar Wednesday evening at Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church. Father Frank Sierra, rector of St. Philip’s, told The Christian Post in an interview that his church was asked by CAIR to host the event.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim Leaders: Mitt Enables Bachmann

by Alex Seitz-Wald

Muslim leaders denounce Romney for meeting with a Muslim-bashing general and giving Michele Bachmann a pass

Salam Al-Marayati, the longtime president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, thinks Mitt Romney needs to do more to disassociate himself from U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s wing of the Republican Party. When a reporter asked Romney Friday about Bachmann’s attempt to root out Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government, he brushed off the question, saying, “I’m not going to tell other people what things to talk about. Those are not things that are part of my campaign.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New Boca Raton Mosque Will Reach Out to Neighbors

Islamic Center of Boca Raton to show off prayer center

BOCA RATON — Neighbors of the city’s newest mosque can expect an invitation on their doorsteps soon: The Muslim community plans to invite them to lunch. Leaders of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton are organizing an assortment of events for neighbors of the new building near the Florida Atlantic University campus. Unlike the antagonism some Muslims across the country have experienced when they seek to open a new prayer center, members of the Islamic Community said they feel welcomed.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New Violence Prompts Criticism of Anti-Muslim Lawmakers

by John Stanton

Michele Bachmann and her allies warned of Muslims in government. She’s “adding gasoline to the fire” says Rep. Carson.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sunday’s terror attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has prompted some civil rights leaders and members of Congress to say aloud what has long been whispered on Capitol Hill: That the words and conspiracy theories of some of the most anti-Muslim legislators have grown dangerous. No one has suggested any direct ties between the statements of lawmakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann and the attack on Sunday, which left six victims dead and several others injured. Indeed, the attacker, Wade Michael Page, had longstanding ties to white supremacist groups and deep roots in the racist fringe. But voices, including those of her colleagues and leading civil rights figures, said the shooting — and a suspected arson attack at a Joplin, Missouri mosque that has previously be the target of anti-Muslim violence — added an urgency to Republican leaders’ efforts to tone down the rhetoric of lawmakers like Bachmann and Reps. Louis Gohmert and Steve King.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Suburban Muslims Say They’re Becoming “Punching Bag” For GOP

Suburban Muslims are refuting claims made by Congressman Joe Walsh about the growth of “radical Islam” in the suburbs, saying instead that their religion is increasingly becoming a “punching bag” for Republicans. “They took it very offensively,” Jamil Zara, General Secretary at the Midwest Islamic Center Masid Al-Huda in Schaumburg said of remarks Walsh made Wednesday at an Elk Grove Village town hall meeting. “It seems Republicans lately are doing this for the political gain. They make Islam a punching bag. They’re using Islam to scare people.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Walsh: Muslims “Trying to Kill Americans”

by Eric Lutz

Exclusive: U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh tells a town hall meeting that radical Islam has infiltrated the Chicago suburbs

U.S. Rep Joe Walsh went on another anti-Islam tirade Wednesday, calling for an end to “political correctness” in dealing with the “radical strain of Islam” he described as an imminent danger to America. “It’s a real threat,” Walsh said at a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village, Ill. “And it’s a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11.” “It’s here,” he continued, referring to “radical Islam” in the suburbs of Chicago. “It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin. It’s here.” The remarks — captured on tape — came in response to an Egyptian-American audience member who said Muslims are taking over America and charged the freshman congressman to take a more aggressive stance against the religion.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Walsh: Muslim Terror Threat Worse Than ‘Right After 9/11’

WASHINGTON — We know Rep. Joe Walsh doesn’t give a darn about political correctness; the Tea Party freshman’s claim to fame comes from making outrageous statements. His latest came Wednesday, when he accused the U.S. government of ignoring warning signs of a crazed gunman for fear of offending Muslims. Walsh raised the prospect of another Sept. 11 triggered by Islamic extremists. “It is a real threat,” he said. “And it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11. It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Tensions Flare in France Over Veil Ban

by Edward Cody

MARSEILLE, France — Though it was almost midnight, streets were full of Muslim families taking a stroll after breaking the Ramadan fast with a late dinner. As two police officers drove by a storefront recycled as the Grand Sunna Mosque, they noticed a woman wearing flowing black robes and a full-face veil. The police officers alighted from their patrol car and challenged the woman about her veil, which has been illegal in France since April 2011. After an angry exchange, police said later, the woman shouted that she would not abide by the anti-veil law, and a youth told police that they had no business patrolling the neighborhood and accosting its predominantly Muslim residents.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French Racist Couple Found Guilty of Attacking Young Muslims

A court in France has convicted a couple of attacking a group of young French Muslims in the southern city of Aigues-Mortes. The couple opened fire on a number of young Muslims who were holding Iftar dinner in a parking lot during the holy month of Ramadan. The man was given a four-year sentence while his wife was sentenced to 2 years in prison for assisting him in reloading his weapon.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany: Militant Islamist Groups in Germany — How Serious is the Threat?

A man admitted in court this week that he had donated money to support a militant Islamist terrorist group. How serious is the threat of Islamist terrorism in Germany? Six hundred and twenty-four euros ($768) is the amount Ramazan B. transferred into the bank account of a member of the “Islamist Jihad Union.” The 25-year-old German citizen admitted the charge on Wednesday (08.08.2012) in a hearing at the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart, and said he had been aware of the possibility that his money might be used to support the organization’s militant activities. According to the public prosecutor, the Islamist Jihad Union wants to rid Afghanistan of all Western influence and reinstate the Islamist emirate of the Taliban. But for this the terrorists need money — and they’re trying to raise it from German sympathizers.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Women Break World Record in Winning 4x100-Meter Relay

In recent Olympics, the United States 4x100-meter relay teams have struggled just to pass the baton all the way around the track, but this time, the women’s team put together the dream race: clean passes and a world-record time.

The team of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter shattered the world record in 40.82 seconds. Jamaica’s set of superstar sprinters were mere spectators in second.

[Return to headlines]

UK Pays to Refit Foreign Prisons: Taxpayers Foot Bill to Revamp Jails in Nigeria and Jamaica So Criminals Can be Deported Without Breaching Their Human Rights

British taxpayers are paying to make jails in Jamaica and Nigeria more comfortable in a desperate bid to persuade foreign criminals to serve their sentences at home. Ministers have resorted to the tactic — designed to satisfy the human rights of inmates — after it emerged that the UK’s own prison system has turned into a ‘United Nations of crime’. Research by the House of Commons library, seen by the Mail, reveals how our jails contain inmates from a staggering 156 countries — more than three out of every four member states of the UN.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Gatwick Mosque Desecrated as 400 Held Ramadan Prayers Inside

VANDALS desecrated a mosque with alcohol and obscene graffiti as around 400 people prayed inside. The front and back doors of the Gatwick Bangladeshi Islamic Community Association headquarters were vandalised in the early hours of Sunday morning as the community held its night-time prayers to mark the month of Ramadan. Worshippers emerged to find alcohol and eggs splattered over the back door, bottles and cans littering the street, a member’s car parked nearby covered in flour, and an obscene word scrawled on the front door in permanent ink.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Ignore the Prophets of Doom — This is a Golden Age for the World

by Fraser Nelson

Despite what politicians say, most people are richer and freer than they have ever been

It feels almost indecent to enjoy the Olympics so much. To spend a day at the Games is to move into a parallel universe, where things are actually going right for Britain and some mild rejoicing is justified. The Olympic motto, “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, strikes a depressing contrast with a British economy showing none of these characteristics. Behind the jubilation lies a horrible feeling that when the Games end, we’ll be back to the grim reality: the Leveson Inquiry, the still-unravelling Budget and the slow-motion implosion of global capitalism.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: London 2012: Africa Village Showcase Forced to Close Amid Acrimony

£2.4m project in Kensington Gardens forced to turn visitors away as accusations of mismanagement and failure to pay bills fly

Before closing, the Africa Village was attracting thousands of visitors a day with free food and music from over 20 nations. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

It was supposed to be the world’s window on Africa during London 2012, the first time that the continent’s national Olympic committees (NOCs) had joined to set up a hospitality house to showcase their culture and attract tourists, locals and even the occasional athlete.

Since Wednesday morning, however, Africa Village in Kensington Gardens, a collection of around 20 stands each representing a country, has been shut to visitors and plunged into acrimony.

The village’s French organisers and British suppliers are understood to have been locked in a stand-off over the non-payment of bills believed to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Last night, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) condemned the fiasco, warning it reserved the right to seek damages.

“The closure, which is consequent on a dispute between a French enterprise and some English companies, has impacted our continent most adversely, especially as our only desire, when we initiated this project, was to exhibit Africa’s rich cultural diversity,” it said, adding: “We wish to make it clear that ANOCA reserves the right to seek redress for damages caused to our public image.”

Among the companies who claimed they had not been paid what they were owed was tent supplier the Mar-Key group. “Significant promised funds have not been forthcoming and the company has no option but to use legal force as required to ensure the correct outcome for the company and its employees,” said chairman David Tabb.

But Pixcom, a French events management company responsible for the organisation of the village, has dismissed these claims as “unacceptable wrangling” over what it said were relatively minor sums. In a statement, chairman Alain Barbier warned there would be “consequences” for those he considered had forced the site’s closure. “It is clear that this premature closure means real damage which will require appropriate consequences for those who bear the heavy responsibility for the closure of the site,” he said.

The decision to shut the village sparked fury among countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Botswana, which were taking part in the popular pavilion by the Royal Albert Hall. ANOCA said it had attracted more than 80,000 people with its free African food and music. All participating countries were to be given a day to themselves to celebrate their culture. Ayele Gelaneh, the director of marketing at the Ethiopian ministry of culture and tourism, said a troupe of dancers from Addis Ababa had been flown in and kitted out at significant expense for the country’s day on Saturday. “It’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of money. [Had we known] we would have engaged ourselves in something different,” Gelaneh said.For the staff of the Moroccan tent, the closure has been a particular blow. They had prepared food, invited VIPs and organised music for their national day on Wednesday, only to be told in the morning that the village would have to turn visitors away. “Of course [we are angry]. We are disappointed. It’s appalling,” said artisan Lahcen Bi Ghourbane. “If it doesn’t reopen we will do something, because it’s shameful to do this to a continent.”

Omar el Mouss, another staff member, claimed the team were victims of the organisers’ alleged mismanagement. Shortly after the village was due to open at 9.30am on Thursday, tourists arrived to discover it had shut. “It would’ve been nice to see it,” said Andrew Walker from Fife, who had brought his two sons, aged 11 and eight, to look around. A London 2012 volunteer, who did not want to be named, said she had come back to buy some bookends she had spotted earlier in the week. “They were for my friend’s 50th birthday.”

           — Hat tip: JN[Return to headlines]

UK: Peter Hitchens vs Mehdi Hasan

by Douglas Murray

A fascinating column in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday by Peter Hitchens asks ‘Am I an “animal”, a “cow” — or just another victim of BBC bias.’ The spur for asking this otherwise surprising question is a BBC radio programme presented by the former New Stateman writer, Mehdi Hasan.


Hasan wishes to shrug off his personal difficulties by confusing them with difficulties suffered by Muslims as a whole. He wishes it to be thought that anybody who criticises him is in fact criticising all Muslims. Fortunately this is not the case. Certainly there are problems which face British Muslims. There are also problems facing Mehdi Hasan. Despite his best efforts, they are not the same thing. At least that’s what this old cow thinks.

[Reader comment by george 4 days ago.]

At some point muslims are going to have to make a decision … Down one decision tree branch islam finds its place in the world without the whining, the self pity, the inferiority complex, the closed xenophobic medieval mind set …. Down another lies darkness. We’d rather you moved into the future with us … but trying to drag us into a medieval hell based on bigotry to Jews, women as chattel and sharia law will not end well for islam.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: TV Review: Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right

by Sam Woollaston

Underneath the pompous facade, these young Tories are a bit tragic — and amazing

‘It is easier to come out at Cambridge as being gay than it is to come out as being a Tory,” complains Chris, as if that was something strange. Well of course it is, young man, because it’s unnatural and wrong. Whereas being gay is just being gay. Chris and Joe, subjects of Wonderland: Young, Bright and On the Right (BBC2), are a pair of horrid young Conservatives, at Cambridge and Oxford universities respectively. There’s something especially troubling about a young Tory, isn’t there? Later on in life it is, if not forgivable, then perhaps at least more understandable. At 19 and 21 though, it’s just weird. Chris and Joe are weird — pompous, middle-aged in youth, with an unhealthy interest in power. Chill out, dudes, be young while it lasts, get into grime or dubstep, whatever, get yourselves girlfriends, or boyfriends.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right, BBC Two, Review

Iain Hollingshead reviews Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right, BBC Two’s documentary which follows two boys who dream of scaling the heights of Oxbridge university politics.

Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right (BBC Two) introduced us to two young Conservatives. Chris, a Cambridge law student almost indistinguishable from “Tory Boy”, Harry Enfield’s satirical creation, had been a Conservative since primary school. Now in his second year, he was keen to make his way onto the committee of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. Mostly, this seemed to involve sourcing port, biscuits and cheese for their dinners — a task he undertook with a comic seriousness.

Meanwhile, Joe, a third-year PPE student at Oxford, all blazers and flowery cravats, was a little later to the party, joining at 14. He made up for lost time by becoming president of the Oxford University Conservative Association, an institution that has been brought into disrepute in recent years and has been forced to remove “University” from their title. The walls of Joe’s student room were adorned with Thatcher, Churchill and, bizarrely, a crucifix. “You always trust a man with a cross,” he said enigmatically. The problem with this sort of documentary is that taking the mickey out of young Oxbridge Tories who are foolish enough to agree to appear on television is like clubbing a baby seal. It’s just not that difficult. Leave the cameras on for long enough and they’ll do all the work for you, talking pompous nonsense, wearing ridiculous clothes and scheming viciously about trivialities.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Fears New Generation of Jihadists on Its Borders

A surge of violence in Egypt’s Sinai desert this week is heightening Israeli concerns about what officials and analysts describe as the growing presence of al-Qaeda-linked jihadis along the Jewish state’s borders.

Egypt used warplanes in Sinai for the first time in decades to strike at the militants this week, after Islamists killed 16 Egyptian security men Sunday, stole a truck full of explosives and an armored vehicle and headed for Israel to try and perpetrate more violence. The truck exploded harmlessly at the border while an Israeli fighter plane bombed the other vehicle, preventing what could have been a devastating terrorist attack. But the incident underscored the ways in which rising lawlessness not just in Sinai but also in Syria-another of Israel’s neighbours -could embroil Israel in new and menacing security problems, even as its conflict with the Palestinians remains largely dormant.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nazareth’s Sufis Bullied by Fellow Muslims

Sheikh Ghassan Menasra espouses a mystical and progressive form of Islam, embracing music and interfaith cooperation. But some fundamentalist Muslims reject the inclusive teachings and are responding with threats and violence.

For decades, the mystical Sufis in Nazareth have celebrated Islam through music and poetry without considering themselves in danger. But nowadays, local Salafis, who practice a more conservative and coercive Islam, bully and beat Sufi leaders to deter them from their practices, Muslim community leaders told Haaretz. “We visit tombs of holy peoples and they say it is forbidden; we chant and they say it is forbidden to use instruments; I say there should be dialogue with Israelis and Jews because the prophet Muhammed received delegations of Jewish tribes,” but Salafis object, said Nazareth Sheikh Ghassan Menasra, 44, a leader of the Qadiri Sufi Order of the Holy Land.

Menasra says he and two of his five sons have been beaten in Nazareth and Jerusalem and his wife, an Islamic educator for women, was pushed. Shaken by threats and having tear gas thrown into his home, he spent two weeks in meditation to avoid the fate of Jerusalem Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, who suffered similar attacks and died of a heart attack in 2010 at age 61. Such incidents may reflect a growing regional trend of clashes between progressive Muslims and their more fundamentalist brethren. Egyptian Salafis have razed Sufi shrines, Tunisian Salafis injured dozens in riots over work of art and political analysts blame Salafi Jihadis for the bloodshed in Syria.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

West Bank Settlers Raise Fund to Purchase Palestinian Land

JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — Residents of a West Bank outpost slated for demolition on Thursday launched a fundraising campaign aimed at purchasing the land on which their community was built. Israel’s High Court of Justice in March reaffirmed its ruling that Migron, located north of Jerusalem, was illegally constructed on privately-owned Palestinian land, and ordered its evacuation by Aug. 1. The demolition, however, was postponed after a group of residents petitioned the High Court earlier last month, claiming to have bought the land from the Palestinian owner, who died last year. Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors the construction of West Bank settlements and first petitioned the court to evict Migron in 2006, previously dismissed similar claims, accusing the residents of presenting forged purchase documents.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

France Deploys Troops to Syria-Jordan Border

France has sent troops to the Syrian border with Jordan amid reports of escalating foreign support for the insurgents fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. France said its soldiers have been deployed to ‘help refugees’ in the border area. On Monday, the spokeswoman for the so-called Syrian National Council (SNC), Bassma Kodmani, singled out Saudi Arabia and Qatar among the countries providing arms for the insurgents. Reports also indicate that the notorious US security firm Blackwater is reportedly training al-Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s border areas to fight in Syria.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Give Way to the Guests of Islamic Solidarity Conference: Scholars

JEDDAH — Religious scholars have stressed the necessity for pilgrims and worshippers to give way to the guests of the Islamic Solidarity Conference that will be held in Makkah on Ramadan 26-27. In order to prevent overcrowding, they called on them not to repeat Umrah or insist on only praying in the Grand Mosque. They said the residents of Makkah should cooperate with authorities and pray elsewhere within the boundaries of the Haram. One religious scholar said he does not perform Umrah in Ramadan so that he does not inconvenience others and expects the reward from Allah. He added that he gives the amount that he would have spent for Umrah in Ramadan as alms to the poor.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, chief of the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, described the call for the extraordinary Islamic summit as an attempt by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to serve Islam and Muslims and unify their ranks and counter the hazards of division and sedition. He added that the call for Islamic solidarity gives a glimmer of hope and is a remedy for the Ummah’s problems.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: UK to Give £5m to Rebels — Live Updates

  • Hague says assistance will not include weapons
  • 15 military vehicles seen heading for Aleppo, activists say
  • Algerian set to replace Annan as peace envoy

10 am: UK in discussions with Free Syrian Army

In the Times today (£), Hague writes that discussions are taking place with the Free Syrian Army:

This week, on my instructions, my ambassador-level representative to the Syrian opposition has contacted and is meeting political elements of the Free Syria Army.

He also says the new assistance will help document human rights violations (he does not explicitly say whether he is referring to violations on both sides)


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghan Policeman Kills Several US Special Forces

A suspected Afghan police officer has shot dead a group of US special forces during a Ramadan breakfast. Recurring incidents of surprise attacks by Afghan police are undermining trust with their international mentors.

At least three US special forces soldiers have been shot dead by an Afghan wearing a police uniform, although it remained unclear whether the perpetrator was actually a member of the security forces or a Taliban infiltrator.

“All we know is that they were killed by an Afghan in a uniform of some sort,” a NATO spokeswoman told Reuters news agency.

The special forces soldiers were attacked while attending a meeting late Thursday in the Sangin district of the volatile Helmand province in Afghanistan’s south. Sangin district chief Mohammad Sharif told the AFP news agency that four US soldiers had been invited to a Ramadan breakfast by an Afghan policeman.

Breakfast is eaten before sunrise during Ramadan, when Muslims fast from then until the evening meal at dusk.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Afghan Police Chief Kills US Soldiers Invited to Dinner

Three American special forces soldiers were shot dead by a man in Afghan uniform in what appeared to be the latest incident of local forces turning their weapons on their foreign allies.

The Americans were killed after being invited to dinner to discuss security in Sangin district of Helmand on Thursday evening. The shooting was at least the third incident this week where Afghan forces have opened fire on foreign forces. Thursday night’s shooting appeared to be a carefully planned attack, Afghan officials said. American special forces soldiers had been invited to break the Ramadan fast at a house in the Sarwan Qala area by a police commander called Assadullah. During the meal they came under fire.

“During dinner, the police commander and his colleagues shot them and then fled. The commander was Afghan National Police in charge of local police in Sangin,” a senior Afghan official told the Reuters news agency. “It looks like he had drawn up a plan to kill them previously,” the official said. Another district official however suggested that the Afghan police had not fired the fatal shots, but had tipped off nearby Taliban fighters who had arrived to kill the Americans. A spokeswoman for American forces in Afghanistan said it was too early to say if the killer was a rogue member of the Afghan forces, or an infiltrator in disguise.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: U.S. Aid Worker Killed

The Obama administration said Thursday that a United States government aid worker had been killed in an attack by suicide bombers in eastern Kunar Province. In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemned the attack by two men on Wednesday. The statement said that a Foreign Service officer working with the United States Agency for International Development, Ragaei Abdelfattah, was killed, along with three coalition soldiers and an Afghan civilian. A State Department employee was wounded. Also on Thursday, two Afghan soldiers tried to shoot a group of NATO soldiers outside a military base in eastern Laghman Province, officials said. No coalition soldiers were hit, but one of the attackers was killed by NATO troops. The second Afghan soldier was detained, an Afghan military official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Thursday attack, said a Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Islamist Extremists Cut Off Thief’s Hand in Northern Mali

Jihadists occupying northern Mali on Thursday said they had cut off the hand of a thief in accordance with strict Islamic law which they have imposed on the population.

“Yes, I confirm it. We applied sharia in Ansongo yesterday (Wednesday). The hand of a thief was cut off. Sharia demands it,” a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Mohamed Ould Abdine, told AFP. A local government official in the town south of Gao, one of the capitals of the vast desert region, said he witnessed the amputation.

“I am in Gao now, but yesterday I was in Ansongo. There was a lot of blood when the hand was cut. It was the hand of a thief who stole a motorbike,” he told AFP. He added that dozens of people had witnessed the public amputation. Abdine said the sentence was “the law of God.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Slumdog Brother: Meet the Hopeless Drunk From a Nairobi Shanty Town Who is the U.S. President’s Brother

As a tall, strangely familiar figure leaves his one-room shack in a notorious African slum this week, a few people jokingly call out to him: ‘Mister President! Mister President!’

Heading for breakfast through his junk-strewn yard, stepping over streams of sewage, the appearance of this slim, angular man prompts giggles and pointing from children in rags playing in the muck.

The man’s name is George Hussein Obama and his half-brother is Barack Hussein Obama, Kenya’s most famous son, the first black President of the U.S. and the most powerful man in the world.

The two men may share the same father, but while Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to his father’s American second wife, George — born in Kenya — was the product of Obama Senior’s fourth marriage.

Today, while Barack entertains at the White House, flies aboard Air Force One and is a friend of film stars and royalty, George, 30, is to be found slumped in his corrugated iron shack which even fellow slum-dwellers regard as a hovel.


Details of his unorthodox lifestyle emerged with news that he has agreed to appear in a documentary film being made by one of Barack Obama’s most trenchant critics.

Called 2016, and directed by the production team behind Schindler’s List, the film sets out the supposed horrors of another four years of Obama in office — though George does not criticise the President on screen. It is the idea of U.S. author Dinesh D’Souza, whose book The Roots Of Obama’s Rage paints a deeply unflattering portrait of the ‘narcissistic’ President.

George has also written a memoir, called Homeland. Published in 2012, it details how he turned his back on a middle-class Kenyan upbringing to live among the desperately poor in Nairobi’s infamous slums. The book’s precis tell us: ‘George chooses to live in the Nairobi ghetto, where he works to help the ghetto-dwellers, and especially the slum kids, overcome the challenges surrounding their lives.’

And the book quotes George thus: ‘My brother has risen to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Here in Kenya, my aim is to be a leader among the poorest people on Earth: those who live in the slums.’

In what sounds like the script for a Hollywood film, he claims to have been the driving force behind the transformation of a slum football team into one of the top sides in Kenya, known as ‘Obama’s champs’.

Details of the lifestyle of Obama’s half-brother emerged with news he has agreed to appear in a documentary made by one of the President’s most trenchant criticsSuch, apparently, is his devotion to good works that many Kenyans want George to stand for President, believing anyone sharing the name and blood of the most powerful politician on the planet can transform their lives.

But, as I discovered, this may prove beyond George. Indeed, standing — let alone talking much sense or walking in a straight line — is tricky for the U.S. President’s brother much of the time, due to his chronic addiction to drink and years of drug abuse.

Nor is there anything heroic and altruistic about his motives for living in the slums. His principal reason is that the potent local moonshine is cheap and readily available here, as is cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Clearly following the dictum that the best place to hide a tree is in a forest, George’s decision to settle in a slum called Huruma — which is scarred by alcoholism, drug addiction and violence — means his own destructive behaviour attracts little attention.

Although he claims not to be using heroin or cocaine, George now spends his time drinking what locals call Chang’aa — a spirit distilled with maize and spiked with chemicals — from the moment he wakes to the moment he slips into unconsciousness.

Laced with ethanol, embalming fluid or battery acid to give it more kick, this substance is regularly blamed for causing blindness and death when the criminal syndicates behind the trade mix it wrongly.

A glass costs about 10p and, after just five small shots, even hardened drinkers can barely remember their own name. Regular users suffer liver and kidney failure, as well as mental impairment known as ‘wet brain’.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Car Bombs Cause Major Blackout in Southwest Colombia

BOGOTA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — Car bombs exploded Thursday in front of a power station in southwest Colombia, triggering a huge blackout in surrounding cities, local authorities said.

Two cars carrying gas cylinders loaded with explosives exploded near Paez power station in Cauca province but did not cause any injuries or deaths, senior army official Ricardo Jimenez said in a statement. Jimenez claimed the attack had been carried out by two guerrillas and local army units were now hunting them. Cauca province has been one of the centers of a conflict between the government and rebel groups, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Nemesis said...

The deaths of those American soldiers who were invited to a 'booby trapped' dinner in Afghanistan, is a result of pro-Islamic indoctrination and rests solely with the current White House administration!

My deepest sympathy to the families who survive those soldiers.