Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120818

Financial Crisis
»22 Stats That Show How the Emerging One World Economy is Absolutely Killing American Workers
»Greece Seeks to Tax Accounts in Switzerland
»Italy: Bitter Ouzo Offers Personal View of the Greek Crisis
»Monti Talks Tax Evasion With Widmer-Schlumpf
»Startling Evidence That Central Banks and Wall Street Insiders Are Rapidly Preparing for Something Big
»ABCs of ATT: Governmental Gun-Trusion
»Agenda 21 Propaganda Invades Hotels, Lectures Travelers
»Apps Make it Easier for Muslims Pray and Read the Quran
»Can You Feel the Hate?
»Family Research Council President Blames Left-Wing Groups for Shooting
»It’s Going to Get Really “Bad After the Next Election”
»Judge Napolitano on the 2012 Election, Obamacare, And the Future of Liberty
»Muslim’s Grave Vandalized a 6th Time
»New Black Panther: We Must Create Military to Murder Babies and Skin White People
»Oklahoma City Muslim Community Prepares for Holiday in Aftermath of Vandalism
»Pizza Franchise Creates ‘Not After Dark’ Delivery Rule in Detroit After Driver Shot
»The Minority Victim Value Index
»The Mississippi River is Drying Up
»The U.S. Government’s Coming War With the American People: Insane Quantities of Govt. Ammo Purchases Point to Only One Purpose
»There is No California, There is No California
»Unblinking Surveillance Stare: Army’s 7-Story Flying Football Field-Sized Blimp
»US Military Postpones Murder Accused Trial Over Beard
Europe and the EU
»Czech Police Arrest Alleged Breivik Sympathizer
»Irish Travellers’ Fair Leaves Council With €25,000 Bill
»UK: Blackburn Mosque Teacher Kurram Hussain Sentenced
»UK: Councillors Refuse to Allow Scottish Defence League to Enter City Square
»UK: Opposition for Right Wing March in City
»UK: Tap Water Straight From the (Water) Mains Sold on Shelves at Asda and Tesco
»UK: Tackle ‘Lazy’ Britain, Fellow Tories Tell David Cameron
»UK: The ‘New Right’ Picks a Fight
»Was Marco Polo Born in Croatia? Korcula Island Opens Museum
North Africa
»Morocco: EU Finances Programme to Support Gender Equality
Israel and the Palestinians
»‘Israel Museum’ Opens to Orthodox Jews
»Israeli Pockets Dead Mother’s Italian Pension for 3 Years
Middle East
»EU Dominates Foreign Investments to Turkey
»Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Israel’s Existence ‘Insult to All Humanity’
»Lebanon: Meqdads Break Promise, Kidnap 3 More Syrians Briefly
»Lebanon: 3 Gulf Countries Urge Citizens to Leave Lebanon
»Libyan Terrorists Are Invading Syria
»Syria: Lakhdar Brahimi Replaces Kofi Annan as UN Envoy
»Syria Pounds Rebel Bastions as UN Names New Envoy
»Syria: Antakya: Once City of Saint Peter, Now a Door for Jihad
»Syria: Rebels Accused of Atrocities, Reporter Killed
»U.S. Says Iraqis Are Skirting Sanctions With Help for Iran
»Yemen’s Intelligence Service Hit With Deadly Attack
South Asia
»Burma to Investigate Rakhine Clashes
»Four Killed as Blast Hits Police Vehicle in Afghanistan
»India Bans Mass Text Messages to Stem Panic Among Minorities
»Pakistan: Murder?: Mosque Guard Arrested for Killing Child
»Pakistan: Afghanistan-Based Militants Take Away 600 Goats From Chitral
»Pakistan: ‘Jumatul Wida’ Observed With Religious Zeal
»Pakistan: Five Security Men Killed in Quetta Blast
»Panic Seizes India as a Region’s Strife Radiates
Far East
»Chinese Vessel Traverses Arctic Ocean for First Time
»Muslims Embrace Fast-Breaking Festival in NW China
»Philippines: Muslims to Celebrate Eid’l Fit’r Tomorrow
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Kenyan Soldiers Kill 73 Al-Shabaab Fighters
»Nigeria: Bakassi — Final Showdown
»Nigeria: Bomb Scare in Kaduna
»Nigeria: Fayemi, Bala, Akinjide Greet Muslims at Sallah
»South Africa: Zuma Orders Probe Into Police Shootings of Miners
»Countdown for Regularization in Italy
Culture Wars
»Another Gay ‘Hate Crime’ Hoax: ‘Victim’ Injured Himself With a Somersault
»Democrats Officially Add Homosexual ‘Marriage’ To Party Platform
»Genetically Engineering ‘Ethical’ Babies is a Moral Obligation, Says Oxford Professor
»Texas State Representative Comes Out as ‘Pansexual’
»Facebook Stock Slides 6% as Insiders Get Chance to Sell
»Where is the Indictment of Julian Assange?
»You, Too, Can Purchase a Not-Quite Panopticon

Financial Crisis

22 Stats That Show How the Emerging One World Economy is Absolutely Killing American Workers

For decades our politicians have promised us that the “free trade” agenda would bring us greater prosperity than ever before. They insisted that merging our economy into the emerging one world economy would cause millions upon millions of new jobs to be added to the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, it was all a giant lie. Trading with other countries is not a bad thing as long as the level of trade is fairly equal on both sides. When trade becomes very unequal, the consequences can be absolutely catastrophic. Since 1975, the United States has bought more than 8 trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they have bought from us. We are the only economy on earth that could have had 8 trillion dollars drained out of it and still be standing. Instead of leaving the country, those 8 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers. If we could go back and have a “do over”, how much more prosperous would we be today if we had kept that 8 trillion dollars inside the country?

But instead of pursuing a balanced trade philosophy, our politicians were so enamored with the emerging one world economy that they threw all caution to the wind.

So we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth.

And this emerging one world economy is absolutely killing American workers. It lumps them into a global labor pool with workers in other countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.


#2 The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

#3 Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975. That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers. Federal, state and local taxes would have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States. This is one reason why our national debt is getting ready to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark.

#4 When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.


#7 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.


And if everything posted above was not bad enough, some U.S. companies even find themselves competing with slave labor here in the United States.


Prison labor is absolutely destroying some businesses here in America. The following comes from a recent CNN article…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece Seeks to Tax Accounts in Switzerland

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JULY 30 — Greece on Monday said it was reviving efforts to conclude an accord with Switzerland in order to tax Greek bank account holders there, as Central Bank data showed a large outflow of deposits abroad. “The Swiss government has been asked to reactivate the process to sign an accord between the two countries on the taxation of deposits and other instruments maintained by Greek citizens in Swiss banks,” the finance ministry said as daily Kathimerini reports. The finance ministry in February said Greeks had legally moved 16 billion euros abroad in the last two years, of which less than 10% went to Switzerland. Struggling to avoid bankruptcy since 2010, Greece has been trying to clamp down on perennial problems of tax evasion and avoidance but with limited success. Ta Nea daily on Monday reported the Bank of Greece had information on 403 Greeks who had moved at least 100,000 euros abroad in 2010 whilst claiming to have zero income. Overall, 731 Greeks had moved a billion euros to foreign banks in 2010, the newspaper wrote.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Bitter Ouzo Offers Personal View of the Greek Crisis

Nissirio tells story of ‘tragedy from Olympics to Samaras’ goal’

(ANSAmed) — Rome, July 30 — Greece’s current plight is a bitter one.

The country is one step away from leaving the euro, its economy and society are in decline, thousands of firms are shutting down and more than half of its young people out of work.

How did this come to be? Patrizio Nissirio tries to provide an answer in his latest book, “Bitter Ouzo, the Greek tragedy from the Olympics to Samaras’ goal”, which is published by Fazi. He explores the so-called Greek tragedy and the impact of the economic catastrophe has had on Greek society. Attention is focused on a political class unable to give up privileges in the name of the common good — unable to look forward, unable to look at the future generations, unable to make decisions that could have avoided the current tragic consequences. In addition to this there is widespread corruption, financial speculators who ride in the back of the global crisis, and a deep disrespect for all things public.

After the successful ebook released in April, the print version of Bitter Ouzo is now available.

Patrizio Nissirio, an Ansa journalist and the news agency’s former Athens correspondent, followed the unfolding of the Hellenic crisis from the beginning, and in this book he explores the country’s economy and its people. He writes about dramatic street fights, the smell of acrid teargas, and the hopeless voices of those who are crushed by the crisis but are not responsible for it.

“It was about 5pm. Public (ADEDY) and private (GSEE) Unions called a massive rally that culminated in a siege of the Greek Parliament in a desperate effort to try to prevent the vote of the last package of austerity measures”, Nissirio writes.

Thousands and thousands of people gathered on Sunday February 12 in Syntagma square. Working classes, middle classes, upper classes, and celebrities like the legendary partisan Manolis Glezos and the composer Mikis Theodorakis were all there. The austerity package passed, but at night, extremists set fire to several buildings.

The beginning of the Greek crisis coincided with the end of the Olympics, Nissirio suggests: “When the lights of the closing ceremony were turned off, reality began to take shape, and the dream was over. Those 16 days of great sport, soon turned into a financial abyss, an endless series of missed opportunities.” The selfishness of the ruling class and ‘creative’ accounting led Greece to collapse. Its European partners also played a role in the process.

“They give lessons, and at the same time take care of their own interests unscrupulously,” says the author. And what is going to happen now? The current weak coalition government faces harsh choices: cuts, unpopular reforms and the abolition of privileges.

Understanding of the Greek crisis can help us figure out, and maybe prevent, more trouble for the euro in the future.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Monti Talks Tax Evasion With Widmer-Schlumpf

Swiss president visits vacationing Italian PM

(ANSA) — Rome, August 17 — Italian Premier Mario Monti and Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf discussed ways of fighting transnational tax evasion at Monti’s vacation spot of Silvaplana in the Swiss canton of Ticino Friday.

The pair also discussed the international economic and financial situation and the challenges it poses for the European Union, Italy and Switzerland, a note from the premier’s office said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Startling Evidence That Central Banks and Wall Street Insiders Are Rapidly Preparing for Something Big

If you want to figure out what is going to happen next in the financial markets, carefully watch what the insiders are doing. Those that are “connected” have access to far better sources of information than the rest of us have, and if they hear that something big is coming up they will often make very significant moves with their money in anticipation of what is about to happen. Right now, Wall Street insiders and central banks all around the globe are making some very unusual moves. In fact, they appear to be rapidly preparing for something really big. So exactly what are they up to?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


ABCs of ATT: Governmental Gun-Trusion

Wearied by gun violence, often in normally peaceful communities, many believe instead that guns belong in the hands of authorities alone. Political correctness tramples common sense when Second Amendment naysayers accept that government can be trusted; but “we, the people” can’t.

Fostering this politically correct mindset, today’s public schools force children to endure realistic, very intense, and deeply traumatizing drills in preparation for potential gun attacks. Sometimes unbeknownst even to teachers, men in full military gear point guns, then fire blank rounds, at unsuspecting kids. Disturbingly, “children’s war games,” as this, are being mandated at the state level from coast to coast—annually, monthly, or several times a year.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you learn that in Muskegon County, Michigan, students and teachers are told that imaginary homeschoolers placed and detonated a bomb on a school bus. In New Jersey, they heard that “pretend” gunmen were “The New Crusaders”—specifically, rightwing, fundamentalist Christians who don’t believe in separation of church and state.

Children under siege learn quickly that seemingly harmless neighbors and friends aren’t to be trusted, and government knows best.


Someone’s got to do something, and Obama’s just the man to do it! Ostensibly to fight against terrorism, insurgency, and international crime syndicates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced that the Obama Administration is working with the United Nations on a globally enforceable Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate firearms and prevent their exportation.

Global Gun-trusion Under Fire

The ATT has been met with a firestorm of opposition. But, never fear: “Urban myth” tester,, has a word for viral e-mails that allege this treaty provides a “legal way around the Second Amendment.” That word is “scarelore.”

But what’s “scary” isn’t always “lore.” Guess who holds the conference’s top, elected post? You got it: Iran. The same Iran that (1) imposes (to quote Ahmadinejad) “burning in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury” on “anybody who recognizes Israel” and (2) supplies Syria with weaponry to massacre its own civilians. Yes, that Iran.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Agenda 21 Propaganda Invades Hotels, Lectures Travelers

United Nations plans to bankrupt developed world with carbon taxes while controlling our lives with “green” policies.

As a sometimes frequent traveler, I’ve repeatedly been bombarded by mindless propaganda at hotels across the United States lecturing about the use of towels in relation to saving the environment. Apart from a few hotels in actual desert regions devoid of water, this is mostly just a public relations stunt to promote a green agenda, with little if any tangible results and plenty of implied guilt to do one’s part.

This is the first time, however, that I’ve seen one overtly linked with the United Nations’ Agenda 21 program, which countless critics have exposed as a plan to stifle development and saddle nations with debt paid directly to the bankers in the name of saving planet earth. (Nevermind the real corporate polluters actually wrecking the globe.) Author Rosa Koire rightly calls it a “green mask” to conceal a far more insidious agenda for total control under United Nations auspices.


For instance, my rental car, like all the others, must display a round, green decal known as an “umweltplakette” in the window proving that a carbon tax was paid in order to drive in restricted areas, a.k.a. “Green Zones” as they are termed by the government (see map). Environmentally sensitive roadways are marked by signs as one enters the downtown areas. Those without the sticker can be fined if stopped in unauthorized areas.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Apps Make it Easier for Muslims Pray and Read the Quran

Need the direction to Mecca or need a prayer time reminder? There’s an app for that.

As a Muslim, Union Public Schools teacher Kamlah Milad’s is strongly encouraged to read the entire Quran during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends Saturday evening. Normally this means Milad must carry a book with her if she wishes to read the Quran during waiting times or other downtimes, but the rise of mobile applications has made this idea archaic.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Can You Feel the Hate?

A great deal of attention has been paid to hate-filled protests in front of synagogues by the Westboro Baptist Church or school protests in Beit Shemesh, but in Ann Arbor hate-filled left-wing protests [url] have taken place in front of a synagogue every Sabbath for a decade.

What you are seeing is one of a few photos [url] from Ann Arbor’s Beth Israel Congregation and some of the photos get uglier than this. There has been astoundingly little media commentary on this, though if a right-wing group had been harassing a synagogue every Shabbat for a decade, there would have been four documentaries and eight books out on it by now.

The FEH site dedicated to exposing the protesters is a disturbing look into the mindset of the twisted mentally ill left. Liberal Jewish groups would like you to believe that harassment like this comes only from Neo-Nazis, but the Ann Arbor situation demonstrates that it is at least as likely to come from their own fellow travelers.


Aimee Smith appears to have been wearing the hijab since at least 2003 when she began running for office as a candidate of the Green-Rainbow Party on a platform of protecting Cambridge from the Patriot Act and COINTELPRO.

Despite being endorsed by the Mystic Green Rainbow Coalition, the Palestinian American Congress and Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, her campaign was sidelined when her campaign manager, Amer Jubran faced deportation for a fake marriage, terrorist ties and assault.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Family Research Council President Blames Left-Wing Groups for Shooting

In his first interview following yesterday’s shooting at the Family Research Council, FRC president Tony Perkins talked about what happened. Perkins said left-wing groups calling FRC a hate group were wrong to have done so.

“Let me be very clear here that Floyd Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one of our colleagues and friends at the Family Research Council,” Perkins said. “But I believe he was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.”

“I think it’s time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations they disagree with,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

It’s Going to Get Really “Bad After the Next Election”

In a riveting interview on CNBC, legendary investor Jim Rogers warned Americans to prepare for “Financial Armageddon,” saying he fully expects the economy to implode after the U.S. election.

Rogers, who for years has been an outspoken critic of the Feds policies of “Quantitative Easing,” says the world is “drowning in too much debt.” He put the blame squarely on U.S. and European governments for abusing their “license to print money.” In the U.S. alone, the national debt has surged to nearly $16 trillion, that’s more than $50,000 for every American man, woman and child.

“[They] need to stop spending money they don’t have,” Rogers said. “The solution to too much debt is not more debt… What would make me very excited is if a few people [in the government] went bankrupt…” Rogers added.

Rogers also charged Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with promoting dangerous policies that create the illusion the economy is stable… but are really only intended to buy time before their upcoming elections.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Judge Napolitano on the 2012 Election, Obamacare, And the Future of Liberty

“Those of us who really yearn for a return to first principles, the natural law, the Constitution, a government that only has powers that we have consented it may have… are frustrated by the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” says Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of the upcoming book Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Your Constitutional Freedoms, Fox Business contributor, and former host of “Freedom Watch.” Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch sat down with Napolitano at FreedomFest 2012 and discussed the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the individual mandate and whether or not there’s a substantive difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from a libertarian perspective.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim’s Grave Vandalized a 6th Time

Graffiti in Evergreen Park cemetery included religious slurs, gang symbols

Hassan Mustafa Hassan Abdallah is one of hundreds of Muslims buried alongside people of other faiths in Evergreen Cemetery. But the Jordanian diplomat’s grave is the only one that has been repeatedly targeted by vandals, and neither police nor his family knows why. Abdallah’s grave was vandalized for the sixth time in the last 17 months last week, even though he died more than a decade ago, Evergreen Park police said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New Black Panther: We Must Create Military to Murder Babies and Skin White People

National Field Marshal for the New Black Panthers King Samir Shabazz who was caught on video tape allegedly intimidating voters in Philadelphia in 08 is now in charge of the New Black Panthers plan to create inner city militaries that would go into nurseries and kill white babies and murder white people in the street

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Oklahoma City Muslim Community Prepares for Holiday in Aftermath of Vandalism

Members of the Muslim community who attend the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City are planning their Eid-ul-Fitr celebration ending Ramadan, despite recent mosque vandalism.

An Oklahoma City Muslim congregation is preparing for one of its biggest holidays of the year, buoyed by community support in the aftermath of recent mosque vandalism. Hassan Ahmed, imam and director of the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City, said he and other leaders of the mosque, 3201 NW 48, have continued with preparations for Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday despite an Aug. 12 vandalism incident.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pizza Franchise Creates ‘Not After Dark’ Delivery Rule in Detroit After Driver Shot

Has it come to this? Yes it has, according to Joan McKenna, whose son Tim McKenna, 19, was shot while delivering pizza in Detroit.

In the wake of the shooting, a Jets Pizza franchise in Dearborn ruled it will no longer deliver to Detroit after dark. Before the shooting, they sent two drivers to every nighttime Detroit delivery, one of whom was armed, Joan McKenna said.

“They usually send somebody with a guy … who carries a gun,” she said. “Usually they have two go into Detroit after dark, if they have a delivery … One guy has a legal, he can carry a gun. That night, Timmy was the only one left, they had this one run to do, he said ‘yeah, I’ll do it.’ He’s a kid, he doesn’t think anything’s going to happen to him.”

Tim McKenna was shot in the ribs, and the bullet hit a lung, but he survived and plans to return in the fall to Adrian College, where he plays football. Pizza delivery was his summer job.

“He can’t play football right now, he’s on the team at Adrian, it’s really hard … It went right in the chest, this guy shot him right in the chest,” Joan McKenna said, adding, “It was a robbery, the guy wanted his money, he hit the gas and the guy went ‘pop pop’ and he was shot in the chest.”

Her son had about $35 on him, which is what the drivers carry, McKenna said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Minority Victim Value Index

by Daniel Greenfield

Toward the end of Animal Farm when the formerly revolutionary seven commandments have been rewritten to “All Animals are Equal…. But Some Animals are More Equal than Others”, what began with the promise of equality has reverted to an authoritarian caste system. America’s civil rights revolution similarly began with, “All Americans are Equal” and ended up with, “All Americans are Equal… But Some Americans are More Equal than Others.”


September 11 and its aftermath is why Muslims have gone to the top of the Victim Value Index. The left may swear up and down that they are interested in Muslim civil rights, but if the Muslims were Sikhs, they would merit a place somewhere in the back. Before Muslims began prominently blowing things up in the United States, the left barely paid any attention to them. Once they did, they began outweighing every other group in the country because killing 3,000 people is the gold standard of revolutionary mayhem.


In the grip of the left, we have become a culture that rewards destruction and disruption, that feeds the worst behaviors and then blames their repetition on society’s failings, rather than their own calculated tactical assault on the country. We can be a country where all Americans are equal or we can be a country where all Americans are equal… but some Americans are more equal than others in the name of remedying inequality.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Mississippi River is Drying Up

The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down. And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain, 22 percent of our oil and natural gas, and andone-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy. It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day. So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape. In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop. If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.

Most Americans simply do not understand how vitally important the Mississippi River is to all of us. If the Mississippi River continues drying up to the point where commercial travel is no longer possible, it would be an absolutely devastating blow to the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, vast stretches of the Mississippi are already dangerously low. The following is an excerpt from a transcript of a CNN report that aired on August 14th…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The U.S. Government’s Coming War With the American People: Insane Quantities of Govt. Ammo Purchases Point to Only One Purpose

At the same time politicians in Washington are openly talking about banning online ammo sales to American citizens, the government itself is arming to the teeth. And not in a military sense, either: The Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling insane quantities of anti-personnel “hollow-point” ammo of all calibers, including #00 tactical shotgun ammo, anti-personnel pistol rounds and match-grade .308 sniper rounds. As the DHS fights no foreign wars and only has jurisdiction in the United States, the only purpose of this ammo can be for use against the American people.

The most recent DHS solicitation contract is seeking massive quantities of anti-personnel ammunition for the “DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TRNG CTR.” The PDF document showing this is available at:[url]


What’s happening behind the scenes in America right now is a massive armament build-up of epic proportions. The government itself is arming to the teeth, but at the same time, sales of guns and ammo to private citizens have smashed through all historical records. Ammunition prices are rising steadily and rifles, handguns and shotguns are out of stock everywhere. Gun manufacturers are running double and triple shifts in their own factories, trying to keep up with demand, and some have simply cancelled all new orders for the next few months until they get caught up.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

There is No California, There is No California

Driving across California is like going from Mississippi to Massachusetts without ever crossing a state line.

Consider the disconnects: California’s combined income and sales taxes are among the nation’s highest, but the state’s deficit is still about $16 billion. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 upper-income Californians are leaving per week to flee high taxes and costly regulations, yet California wants to raise taxes even higher; its business climate already ranks near the bottom of most surveys. Its teachers are among the highest paid on average in the nation, but its public school students consistently test near the bottom of the nation in both math and science.

The state’s public employees enjoy some of the nation’s most generous pensions and benefits, but California’s retirement systems are underfunded by about $300 billion. The state’s gas taxes — at over 49 cents per gallon — are among the highest in the nation, but its once unmatched freeways, like 101 and 99, for long stretches have degenerated into potholed, clogged nightmares unchanged since the early 1960s.


To fathom the state’s nearly unbelievable statistics — as the state population grew by 10 million from the mid-1980s to 2005, its number of Medicaid recipients increased by 7 million during that period; one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients now reside in California — visit the state’s hinterlands.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Unblinking Surveillance Stare: Army’s 7-Story Flying Football Field-Sized Blimp

It’s not fashionable to call this flying spy (hybrid military airship) a “blimp,” but a Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). You are no doubt familiar with the Goodyear blimp that hovers over football games, but the LEMV is almost the size of a seven-story flying football field; it’s meant to fly at speeds between 30 and 80 knots without ceasing for 21 straight days while providing an “unblinking” eye of surveillance.

Northrop Grumman has a $517 million contract to build three of these 21st-century robotic airships for the U.S. Army. The first of three had a successful 90-minute test flight last week from the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. This first test flight included two pilots, but the Army intends for the LEMV to be like the Predator, an unmanned flying surveillance machine. Both Northrop Grumman and the Army must like the term “unblinking,” as it was used several times to describe the “Revolutionary ISR Weapon System” aka the LEMV.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Military Postpones Murder Accused Trial Over Beard

A military appeals court has postponed indefinitely the court-martial for a US army Major because of a dispute over his beard.

Nidal Hasan is accused of shooting dead 13 of his colleagues at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009 as well attempting to murder 32 others.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

As an expression of his religious beliefs, the practicing Muslim has grown a beard in preparation for his death which he believes is “imminent”.

However, the unshaven facial hair is in violation of army grooming regulations.

The Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces halted proceedings related to Hasan’s case until further notice.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Czech Police Arrest Alleged Breivik Sympathizer

Police in the Czech Republic have arrested an alleged sympathizer of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Authorities say the man may have been planning bomb attacks. Czech police arrested the 29-year-old man after raiding his apartment in the northeastern town of Ostrava, where they found an automatic weapon, a bomb and other explosive material.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Irish Travellers’ Fair Leaves Council With €25,000 Bill

TAXPAYERS had to shell out €25,000 to cover the cost of a one-day fair dating back to the 16th Century.

While local authorities around the country are facing huge cuts in government funding to make up for the shortfall in the collection of the household charge, Carlow County Council had to pay out thousands to clean up after the Borris Fair, one of annual highlights of the Travellers’ social calendar.

Council workers were out in force at 6am yesterday to ensure there were no complaints from residents about rubbish strewn along the Main Street.

Early risers were greeted with a jacuzzi dumped outside the post office, as well as televisions, vacuum cleaners and mattresses strewn along the street.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

UK: Blackburn Mosque Teacher Kurram Hussain Sentenced

A mosque teacher from Lancashire who assaulted two boys has been given a one-year community service order.

Kurram Hussain, 26, of Granville Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, had denied two charges of assault by beating, relating to two boys aged 10 and 11. Blackburn magistrates said Hussain must serve 270 hours unpaid community work. Hussain, who taught children to read the Quran at a Blackburn mosque, was found guilty on 8 August of beating two children. He was accused of three charges of assault but one was dropped when a witness failed to turn up.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Councillors Refuse to Allow Scottish Defence League to Enter City Square

Dundee City Square could be turned into a scene of conflict if members of a far-right group are allowed to demonstrate there. That was the claim made on Thursday during the city council’s licensing committee as councillors considered a request by Dundee Trades Union Council, on behalf of Dundee Together, to allow their demonstration against racism and fascism to go ahead on September 1. On the same day, around 150 members of the Scottish Defence League (SDL) are expected to gather in the city despite having been refused permission to hold a static demonstration in City Square earlier this year. The right-wing group is using the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to exercise its freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Opposition for Right Wing March in City

A FAR right demonstration is set to be opposed by members of unions, faith groups and political parties. A second English Defence League march is planned in Chelmsford for Saturday, but the group is set to come up against opposition. The EDL will be in the city centre to make its feelings known on a planning application to rebuild the Muslim Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Essex, which is behind the Royal Mail office, in Victoria Road.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Tap Water Straight From the (Water) Mains Sold on Shelves at Asda and Tesco

Supermarkets are selling bottled tap water to millions of unsuspecting customers.

Bottles of Tesco ‘Everyday Value Still Water’ and Asda ‘Smartprice Still Water’ are sitting on shelves alongside big brands of mineral water such as Evian and Perrier.

However, there is no explanation on the label of these supermarket brands that the contents are simply tap water.

On the face of it, the supermarket water, which costs 17p for a two-litre bottle, offers remarkable value compared with the big brands. In reality it is no more than a filtered version of the mains water that comes out of the tap at a cost of just a third of a penny a litre.

This means the supermarkets and their suppliers are enjoying a mark-up of around 2,500 per cent for filtering the water — something the mains suppliers say is unnecessary. They then put it into plastic bottles and ship it to thousands of stores across the country.

It echoes one of the best-loved episodes of the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses, featuring David Jason as the entrepreneurial Del Boy, of Trotters Independent Traders.

In pursuit of his millionaire dreams, Del came up with the idea of bottling tap water and selling it as the exclusive ‘Peckham Spring’. Just as Del Boy failed to mention the tap water origins of Peckham Spring, so Tesco and Asda have left this important detail off their labels.

Tesco sells the filtered mains water under the name of Everyday Value Still Water which can be bought in a two-litre bottle for 17p or six 500ml bottles for £1. On the label it says ‘Just water, nothing added’. There is a carbonated version which also sells for 17p.

Asda’s product is sold as Smartprice Still Water at 17p for two litres or 88p for a pack of six 330ml bottles.

The prices look cheap compared with the 88p for a two-litre bottle of Evian Mineral Water, 69p for Highland Spring, or £1 for a 750ml bottle of Perrier.

The trade body for the nation’s mains water suppliers, Water UK, insists the product coming out of the taps is cheap, healthy and safe, with absolutely no reason to filter it.

According to the latest report from the Drinking Water Inspectorate, 99.96 per cent of all samples are within health and safety standards. Jo Tanner, of Water UK, said: ‘UK tap water is incredibly safe.

‘We really are a gold standard in terms of water quality. In terms of health and safety there is no need to filter mains water.

‘The idea of selling filtered tap water in supermarkets has a whiff of Del Boy and Peckham Spring about it. I can see it would be a nice money-making wheeze.’

When asked about the origins of its value water, a Tesco spokesman initially offered a completely inaccurate explanation.

She said: ‘My understanding from speaking to our water buyer is that it originates from a spring in France.’ Asked whether it was filtered mains tap water, she said: ‘No, absolutely not. No, its origin is French, but it is bottled in the UK — I think somewhere in the West Midlands.

‘The bottle doesn’t pretend to be anything other than it is. It is categorically not water from a tap and put into a bottle.’

Later, the company confirmed that the water comes from the UK mains and has been filtered to remove chlorine and what it said were ‘other impurities’ found in tap water.

Tesco claimed that while the water originated from the mains, the fact it is then filtered means it is unfair to describe it as tap water.

It said: ‘Our Everyday Value Still Water comes from UK sources and is filtered to improve the taste and remove impurities. Tesco sells a wide range of waters to suit all tastes and budgets.

‘All of our products are clearly labelled so customers know what they’re buying.’

Asda confirmed that its Smartprice water is filtered mains water. Its manufacturer gets its supplies from the tap water firm Yorkshire Water before filtering and bottling it. A spokesman argued the water was cheaper than buying a water filter and jug for the home.

Asda said: ‘Our two-litre bottle is 17p. For comparison — if a customer bought a Brita water filter jug at £16 and used it for the recommended 40 gallons, it would cost 21p to produce two litres of filtered water. We’re saving our customers time and money — as well as providing a container.’

In 2004, Coca-Cola ran into trouble after it began selling the premium bottled water Dasani, which turned out to be filtered tap water from Sidcup in Kent.

Jeanette Longfield, of the campaigning ethical food group Sustain, said: ‘First Del Boy tried it with Peckham Spring, then Coca-Cola with Dasani water, and now Tesco.

‘When people are struggling with their grocery bills the last thing they need is to be ripped off by eye-watering mark-ups and misleading labelling.

‘I hope people return to trustworthy tap water — saving money, saving energy and saving waste in the process.’

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

UK: Tackle ‘Lazy’ Britain, Fellow Tories Tell David Cameron

David Cameron was today challenged by rising star Tory MPs to tackle “lazy” Britain — and bring in tough new work reforms. The “young guns” from the new Right of the party called for a culture of “graft, risk and effort” to propel Britain into the “superleague” of nations. They branded Britons among “the worst idlers” in the world and said the country should emulate the hard work ethic of Asia. “Too many people in Britain, we argue, prefer a lie-in to hard work,” they said. The call for action is being made by five Tories from the “class of 2010” — Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss. Their vision, laid out in a new book, Britannia Unchained — Global Growth and Prosperity, will pile pressure on the Prime Minister to step up reforms to boost Britain’s economy.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: The ‘New Right’ Picks a Fight

by Peter Hoskin

The most explosive scrap of Tory politics today is contained in this article in the Evening Standard. It’s about a new book (Britannia Unchained, released on 13th September) by five of the 2010 intake: Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss. And it contains some blunt, no-nonsense quotations from this quintet. “Too many people in Britain … prefer a lie-in to hard work,” they say. And then they top that with the observation, “Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world.” It’s ill-chosen rhetoric — even if there are sensible points about global competitiveness and productivity behind it — because it seems too sweeping in its condemnation. Labour have duly urged David Cameron to “distance himself from this attack on hard-working families”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Was Marco Polo Born in Croatia? Korcula Island Opens Museum

Free to Chinese visitors, whose number is increasing in Dalmatia

(ANSAMed) — ZAGHREB, AUGUST 8 — A new museum dedicated to the life of Medieval explorer Marco Polo opened its doors on Wednesday. The museum, which cost 270,000 euros, is located in the town of Korcula, on the central-Dalmatian island of the same name. According to some Croatian historians, the Venitian explorer was born in Dalmatia in 1254.

“The museum represents the life and the many voyages of the famous Medieval adventurer, Korcula’s most renowned native son, who in the 13th century, visited the remote and unknown country of China,” says the museum’s press release. One of the exhibition halls is dedicated to a naval battle between Genoa and Venice, which may have taken place in 1298 off the coast of Korcula. Fighting on the side of La Serenissima, Marco Polo was captured and taken to Genoa, where he was imprisoned. While in jail he befriended Pisan writer Rustichello, to whom he dictated his tales of travel. This resulted in a book titled The Travels of Marco Polo, also known as Il Milione (The Million).

Marco Polo’s presence at this battle, and the fact that Polo and Depolo are very common last names in Korcula, prove that he was born in Dalmatia and not in Venice, according to some historians.

The Croatian Tourist Board run ads promoting Croatia as “the fatherland of Marco Polo,” and 20,000 visitors are expected to visit his museum next year. And, while tickets are 8 euros, entry is free for Chinese nationals. Croatia, it seems, has become a very popular holiday destination for subjects of the People’s Republic, with several thousand Chinese visitors expected on Korcula by summer’s end.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Morocco: EU Finances Programme to Support Gender Equality

Signed agreement with Rabat to implement government plan

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, AUGUST 06 — The EU and Morocco signed a financing agreement for a support programme to the implementation of the governmental Plan for Equality. This programme, said the Enpi website (, will last 48 months and has a budget of 45 million euros.

The objective of this bilateral programme, through the support of the implementation of the governmental Plan for Equality, is to contribute to improving the conditions of the promotion of gender equality and equity in Morocco.

b Expected results include a better legal protection for women, a greater representation of women in decision-making positions (political and administrative), the development of an equality culture (campaigns, fight against gender stereotypes in the media), the development of policies and sectorial programmes that contribute to gender equality, the reinforcement of the ministry of solidarity, women, family and social development (and particularly women’s affairs’ department) for an effective steering of the strategy.

The ministries of justice; economy and finance; communication; modernization of public sectors; and interior are also partners and involved in the implementation of this programme.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

‘Israel Museum’ Opens to Orthodox Jews

Men and women might have separate visiting hours

(ANSAmed) — Jerusalem 17 AUG — The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is considering allowing separate visiting hours for ultra-Orthadox men and women wanting to see an exhibition on Hasidic Jews, according to local media reports. Museum staff said they were surprised by the large numbers of Hassidic Jews who came to see the exhibition, called ‘A World Apart Next Door: Glimpses in the Life of Hasidic Jews’ which opened last month. The exhibition represents a turning point in relations between the secular Jewish museum and the Orthodox culture, which at its core is mired in an atmosphere of mysticism. ‘Hasidic Culture is a source of great curiosity for many in Israel and around the world’, said James S Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum.

The exhibition shines a spotlight on lesser known characteristics of the faith, in particular on the rituals and clothing worn by Hassidic Jews, which often contain rich codes woven in their garments. In nearby ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods of Jerusalem the show has sparked word of mouth interest. Entire Hassidic families have visited the exhibition, displaying a certain level of courage: other exhibitions in the museum feature scenes of nudity — forbidden in the faith; and the museum is open on the Jewish Sabbath Day of rest. Overall the exhibition is being viewed as an unexpected opening of dialogue between the Israel Museum and the orthodox community.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israeli Pockets Dead Mother’s Italian Pension for 3 Years

Man illegally claimed 25,000 euros

(ANSA) — Roccasecca (Frosinone), August 17 — An Israeli citizen fraudulently pocketed his dead mother’s Italian pension for a period of three years, omitting to report her death to local authorities, before local law enforcement officers finally discovered what he was doing and reported him for continuous and aggravated fraud. The 63-year-old man illegally claimed a total of about 25,000 euros from the Italian state after his mother died in Israel on February 3, 2009. Her pension totalled 600 euros a month. The woman’s bank account, which her son had access to, has been seized by authorities involved in the investigation in the town of Roccasecca, near Frosinone, south of Rome. The man is resident in that location.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

EU Dominates Foreign Investments to Turkey

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, AUGUST 16 — Some 77.8% of direct international investments in Turkey within the first six months of the year came from members of the European Union, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said yesterday ad reported by daily Hurriyet. Among the largest investing countries was Britain with 2 billion USD, Austria with 1.4 billion USD and Luxembourg with 676 million USD invested between January and June, he said.

Total investments soared by 21% year on year in the first six months reaching 8.2 billion USD, he said. “The growth figure confirms that Turkey is a safe haven for direct investments,” he said. The manufacturing industry attracted the most investment, the minister said. “Some 3.1 billion USD of direct international investments were made in the manufacturing industry in the January to June period, with food and beverage manufacturing taking the first place. Rubber and plastic products manufacturing took second place, attracting 410 million USD worth investments. The amount of direct international investments was 1.3 billion USD in the construction industry and 715 million USD in the banking and finance industry,” he said.

The number of the international companies established in the period was 620, while 79 domestic companies accepted international capital. A total of 30,333 foreign companies were active in Turkey as of the end of June 2012, 52% of which had partner companies from the European Union. Germany led the way in terms of the number of companies operating in Turkey with 4,918 followed by Britain at 2,369 and the Netherlands at 2,014.

Of the foreign companies in Turkey, 6,546 of them are from Middle Eastern countries.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Israel’s Existence ‘Insult to All Humanity’

Israel’s existence is an “insult to all humanity,” Iran’s president said on Friday in one of his sharpest attacks yet against the country while Israeli leaders openly debate whether to attack Iran over its nuclear programme.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said confronting Israel is an effort to “protect the dignity of all human beings”. “The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity,” Ahmadinejad said. He was addressing worshippers at Tehran University after nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its nuclear and missile programs, support for radical anti-Israel groups on its borders and repeated references by Iranian leaders to Israel’s destruction. Ahmadinejad himself has repeatedly made such calls, as has Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Lebanon: Meqdads Break Promise, Kidnap 3 More Syrians Briefly

BEIRUT: The Lebanese clan Meqdad broke its pledge Saturday and kidnapped three more Syrian nationals before releasing them hours later. Security sources said four gunmen, one of them masked, snatched the three men at dawn Saturday from a banana fermentation warehouse near the Beirut airport, where they work.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Lebanon: 3 Gulf Countries Urge Citizens to Leave Lebanon

BEIRUT/DUBAI — Three Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar urged on Wednesday their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, according to media reports. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Assiri urged all Saudi citizens in Lebanon to leave the country “immediately, after the threats have become public,” Lebanon’s National News Agency reported. Earlier, media reports said a Saudi man and his son, a Turk along with some Syrians were kidnapped by al-Meqdad clan, a powerful family in Lebanon. The abduction was meant to avenge the detention of one of the family members by some Syrian rebels in Damascus.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Libyan Terrorists Are Invading Syria

Reuters today provides us with a spectacularly contradictory headline in their report, “Libyan fighters join Syrian revolt.” Obviously foreign fighters from Libya, raiding cities, attacking government and civilian targets, and attempting to subvert and overthrow the sovereign government of Syria is not a “revolt.” It is an invasion.

Reuters reported, that Mahdi al-Harati, “a powerful militia chief from Libya’s western mountains,” who is actually a militant of the US, British, and UN listed terrorist organization Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), “now leads a unit in Syria, made up mainly of Syrians but also including some foreign fighters, including 20 senior members of his own Libyan rebel unit.” Reuters would go on to explain, “the Libyans aiding the Syrian rebels include specialists in communications, logistics, humanitarian issues and heavy weapons,” and that they “operate training bases, teaching fitness and battlefield tactics.”

Reuters concedes that the ongoing battle has nothing to do with democracy, but instead is purely a sectarian campaign aimed at “pushing out” Syria’s minorities, perceived to be “oppressing” “Sunni Muslims.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Syria: Lakhdar Brahimi Replaces Kofi Annan as UN Envoy

The United Nations has confirmed that veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League envoy tasked with brokering peace in Syria.

Mr Annan stepped down earlier this month after a ceasefire he helped negotiate collapsed. In his first tentative comments, Mr Brahimi admitted he was not over-confident he would be able to end the 17-month-old conflict. “I might very well fail but we sometimes are lucky and we can get a breakthrough,” he told the BBC in an interview. But “these missions have to be undertaken. We have got to try. We have got to see that the Syrian people are not abandoned.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria Pounds Rebel Bastions as UN Names New Envoy

NEAR ALEPPO: Syrian forces launched new air strikes and shelled rebel strongholds in several key cities on Saturday, a watchdog said, after the UN named a new envoy to try to end the conflict. The intensified fighting, particularly in and around the key northern hub of Aleppo, has sent thousands more Syrians fleeing into neighbouring countries as the divided international community appears powerless to act.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: Antakya: Once City of Saint Peter, Now a Door for Jihad

Foreign fundamentalists pass through here to go fight Assad

(ANSAMed) — ANTAKYA (TURKEY) — 17 AUG — Foreign fundamentalist fighters who are welcomed ‘without fuss’ to fight alongside Syrian rebels against the Assad regime, pose a threat to the country’s future democracy, according to a commander of the Free Syrian Army.

‘They constitute a real threat to our society and the western world, who hope for a democratic Syria in the future’, Ahmad Fahd al Nimah said recently in response to a growing influx of Jihadist fighters flocking to Syria via Turkey. According to reports, mujahideen fighters are making the 20 minute journey to the border of Syria from Antakya, where Saint Peter was the first Christian bishop, and celebrated mass in a cave about 2,000 years ago. A Jihadist calling himself Abdullah told ANSA that he had come to Antioch from Marseilles, to ‘God willing, fight against the murderous infidel Assad.’ He explained that thousands of other mujahideen fighters were ready to come from abroad.

And a Turkish truck driver called Zeynel who was in Libya during the uprising against Gaddafi told ANSA that he recognised many Libyan jihadists in Antakya. Rebel fighters now control the Syrian border, and Turkey, who supports the Sunni anti-Assad uprising, does little to stop fundamentalists from crossing into Syria. The goal of the Jihad fighters is ‘clear: to overthrow the Shia Alawite Assad regime and establish a Sunni Islamic based on sharia law. It is not known how many jihadist fighters there are in Syria, but their influence on the ground is clear. Many are experts in weapons, explosives, communications and guerrilla tactics, including suicide bombings. According to a BBC analyst, 53% of their attacks have been focused on Damascus and 20% on Aleppo, the dual nerve-centres of power in Syria. In short, they know where to hit the regime hardest.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Syria: Rebels Accused of Atrocities, Reporter Killed

Loyalist thrown from a roof in Aleppo, young slain in Idlib

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, AUGUST 13 — Unarmed enemies slaughtered, bodies thrown from the top of a building, not complaisant journalists kidnapped and executed: the Syrian civil war is sinking into horror more and more as the internet images of the atrocities committed by anti-Assad rebels over these last days in the Al Qaeda style appear.

On the site of the turkish newspaper Hurriyet, and then in many others, was posted a video of the “massacre of the Post” of al-Bab, near Aleppo. It show bodies thrown from the roof of a building while in the street a frantic crowd yells ‘Allah Akbar!’ (God is great!).

According to Hurriyet, the militia anti-Assad had forced the officials accused of being supporters of the regime to climb on the roof of the building where they were thrown. Their bodies, in harsh images of the video, crashed to the ground among exultant people.

According to Hurriyet, the scene was taken on 10 August. “The officials who refuse to leave the premises are accused of being defenders of the regime and often executed “, writes Hurriyet.

More pictures — for which it is impossible to verify the source — posted today on Youtube, show militiamen and Sunni fundamentalists slay a Young alleged ‘Shabib’, ie a member of paramilitary forces loyalist, near Idlib. The armed men forces the young shirtless man, to sit on the edge of a sidewalk. A voiceover says that it would have been better to kill him with a gunshot to the head, while another insists on wanting to kill. A man approaches the young man with a knife and cuts his throat, exclaiming “Hamdoulillah!” (Praise to Allah).

A third movie, shot in Azaz, a town north of Alep under the control of the rebels, shows a man with his hands tied behind his back, extracted by force by a car and thrown to the ground where he gets first hit by a gunshot and then finished by a hail of gunfire. “These people would be better than Assad?” denounced horrified a Hurriyet reader. The images of brutality attributed to the rebels — among which continues to grow “jihadist” foreign component — have caused a furore among the same Syrian opponents.

“What is the difference between them and those who kill Our children, our women, our men? “ protested on Facebook the Kurdish Syrian Massoud Akko, in exile in Norway. The President of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, close to the rebels, Abdel Rahmane Rabi, spoke of “atrocities”. Free Syrian Army command (ESL) has dissociated, blaming “uncontrolled fringes” of the movement. “Such atrocities will damage the cause of revolution,” said to ANSA the Colonel Khaled al Qatini.

Meanwhile, the “massacre” of journalists accused to be “loyalists” continues. Today it was announced the killing of Public TV cameraman Hatem Abu Yahiya, kidnapped Friday by a group of rebels with the reporter Yara Saleh. Two other journalists were abducted and killed in recent days: a TV presenter and a columnist of the public agency Syria’s official news Sana.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

U.S. Says Iraqis Are Skirting Sanctions With Help for Iran

When President Obama announced last month that the Elaf Islamic Bank in Baghdad was being cut off from dealings with the American banking system, it was a rare public acknowledgment that Iraq has been providing economic assistance to Iran, skirting the sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear program.

In Sunday’s New York Times, James Risen and Duraid Adnan report that many current and former American and Iraqi officials, as well as banking and oil experts, have accused Iraqi government officials of turning a blind eye to the large financial flows, smuggling and other trade with Iran. In some cases, they say, government officials, including some close to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, have been directly profiting.

While administration officials are not eager for a public showdown with the Iraqi government, Mr. Risen and Mr. Adnan write, they have held private talks with Iraqi officials to complain about specific instances of financial and logistical ties between Iraq and Iran.

[Return to headlines]

Yemen’s Intelligence Service Hit With Deadly Attack

At least 14 Yemeni soldiers have been killed in an attack on the intelligence service headquarters in the port city of Aden. Officials report that machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades were used in the attack.

A security official who anonymously spoke to the AFP news agency said the attack “is the work of al Qaeda elements.”

The Yemeni Defense Ministry said that armed gunmen attacked the intelligence service headquarters from two directions. One attack came at an entrance of an adjacent building used by the state television station.

A car bomb was also reportedly driven through an entrance into the courtyard of the building and then detonated. Rocket-propelled grenades were also launched at the building.

The perpetrators in the attack were able to get away, and a number of soldiers and three employees of the state television service were wounded.

The United States has backed Yemen in its effort to combat militants within its borders, notably by increasing drone strikes on suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Burma to Investigate Rakhine Clashes

Burma has set up a commission to investigate recent violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the west of the country, in which dozens died.

The move was announced by President Thein Sein, who earlier rejected UN calls for an independent inquiry. The clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims also displaced thousands of people. The UN welcomed the inquiry, saying it could make “important contributions” to restoring peace.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Four Killed as Blast Hits Police Vehicle in Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan — At least four civilians were killed and 12 others including three policemen were injured Saturday morning when a bomb targeted a police vehicle blasted in western Afghan province of Herat, an official said. “A bomb was placed under a small bridge and was detonated when a police vehicle was running the area in Shindand district bazaar at around 8:00 am local time Saturday, leaving the casualties,” a provincial government spokesman, Mahyoddin Noori, told Xinhua. He said the injured were shifted to a district hospital and an injured policeman was in critical condition. He blamed Taliban insurgents for the attack. The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group launched an annual spring offensive dubbed “Al-Farooq” from May against Afghan and NATO-led troops stationed in the country.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India Bans Mass Text Messages to Stem Panic Among Minorities

The Indian government banned bulk text messages on Friday in an attempt to halt the exodus of thousands of migrant workers from Bangalore and other major cities following false warnings of attacks on them.

An estimated 15,000 people from Assam and states in north-eastern India, many of whom suffer racial abuse and discrimination in other parts of the country, have fled India’s IT capital and other cities including Chennai, Mumbai and Pune, after receiving text messages warning them of imminent attacks. The messages spread panic among the north-eastern minorities who were already fearful following recent clashes between members of Assam’s Bodo tribe and Bangladeshi settlers in in the state. More than 30,000 are reported to have fled the area following the clashes which continued on Thursday, but their effect has been felt throughout India.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Murder?: Mosque Guard Arrested for Killing Child

FAISALABAD: Satiana police have arrested a security guard of a mosque following an FIR accusing him of killing a child and injuring brother on Thursday night.

The police have also seized the weapon, a single barrel 0.12-bore gun, from the suspect. The FIR registered on the complaint of Attiq Ullah accused the guard, Muhammad Anwar, of shooting his sons Abdul Aleem, 11, and Abdul Hameed, 12, during a trip to the mosque in Chak 36-GB on Thursday night. The complainant said the children had gone to the mosque to deliver dinner to their grandfather, Muhammad Nawaz, who was in aitekaf. He said Aleem had died of the bullet wound on their way to a hospital. The other child was discharged from the hospital after receiving first aid for his injuries.

The complainant refused to let the media speak to the child about Thursday’s incident. SHO Malik Jahangir said the suspect had denied the charge. He quoted the guard as saying that he had left his seat to go to the toilet when the incident took place. “He said he had left his gun at the seat,” the SHO said. SP (Jaranwala) Nasir Sial said the body of the child had been sent for an autopsy. He said the police were not ruling out the possibility that the killing was accidental. “There is a possibility that the children started playing with the gun while the guard was away,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Afghanistan-Based Militants Take Away 600 Goats From Chitral

CHITRAL: The militants from Afghanistan attacked the summer pasture in Bamburate valley in Chitral district and kidnapped a shepherd and took away about 600 goats, official sources said on Friday.

The sources said that the militants entered the Dobaja pasture after crossing the Pak-Afghan border from the Afghan province of Nuristan and kidnapped the shepherd, Abad Khan, and took away his 600 goats to Afghanistan. The sources said the militants also killed around a dozen goats before crossing the border. It wasn’t clear if these were the Pakistani Taliban who have shifted to Afghanistan’s Nuristan and Kunar province after the Pakistan military operations against them in Swat and rest of Malakand division. Normally these militants led by the Swat Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah carry out cross-border attacks into Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts from their bases in Afghanistan.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: ‘Jumatul Wida’ Observed With Religious Zeal


Like other parts of the country, residents of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad also observed ‘Jumatul Wida’, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan, with traditional religious zeal and reverence and under tight security arrangements. ‘Jumatul Wida’ has a special significance, as it is a prelude to the departure of holy month of Ramazan and its blessings.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Five Security Men Killed in Quetta Blast

QUETTA: Five security personnel were killed in a blast at Qambrani Road in Sharifabad area, Geo News reported Saturday.

According to SHO Shalkot, the security forces signaled a suspicious vehicle to stop and started chasing it when it did not do so. Armed man present in the explosive-laden vehicle detonated himself, as a result five security men were killed who were chasing the vehicle. The terrorist in the car was also killed while the vehicle was completely damaged, the SHO told. Police took three hand grenades and a pistol into custody that were found from the blast site. They also seized the damaged vehicle and started investigation.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Panic Seizes India as a Region’s Strife Radiates

BRAJAKHAL, India — Like a fever, fear has spread across India this week, from big cities like Bangalore to smaller places like Mysore, a contagion fueling a message: Run. Head home. Flee. And that is what thousands of migrants from the country’s distant northeastern states are doing, jamming into train stations in an exodus challenging the Indian ideals of tolerance and diversity.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Vessel Traverses Arctic Ocean for First Time

China has completed its first voyage across the Arctic Ocean to Iceland using an icebreaker. The Arctic’s ice melt which experts attribute to climate change is opening new trade routes and exposing mineral resources.

A Chinese vessel has voyaged from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Arctic Ocean for the first time in the country’s history, as melting sea ice from climate change begins to open new trading routes.

The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, completed its journey through the Northern Sea Route this week. The ship sailed from the East Siberian Sea along Russia’s northern coastline to the Barents Sea before docking in the island nation of Iceland.

Egill Thor Nielsson, an Icelandic scientist who participated in the expedition, told the Agence France-Presse news agency on Friday that the route makes the trip to Europe form east Asia significantly shorter.

“This is the first Chinese ship to sail this route and of course it is important because it’s a more than 40 percent shorter route to Europe,” Nielsson said.

“It took almost 10 days to sail from the East Siberian Sea and through the Barents Sea, and during that time there was real pack ice for only seven days,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Muslims Embrace Fast-Breaking Festival in NW China

XINING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — After a month of fasting, hundreds of thousands of Muslims in northwest China’s Qinghai Province flocked to mosques to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Saturday. Ma Guoqing got up at 6 a.m., washed himself and cleaned his house for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Ma, 57, a villager of Taerwan Village in the Hui-Tu Autonomous County of Datong in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, donned his new festival outfits and joined over 4,200 others at the local mosque to welcome the first day of fast-breaking festival. Due to different religious sects, Qinghai starts the festival on Saturday, while other Muslim-populated regions, including Xinjiang and Ningxia, will celebrate the festival on Sunday.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Philippines: Muslims to Celebrate Eid’l Fit’r Tomorrow

COTABATO CITY, Philippines- Muslims will celebrate on August 19 the Eid’l Fit’r, ending what is for them the holy Ramadan fasting season, where abstention from food and drinks during daytime is obligatory for the physically fit and during which they focus on reconciliation and reparations for wrongdoings. Ramadan traditionally starts with the sighting of the new moon on the last day of the month of Shaban in the Islamic Hijrah calendar, and ends after one lunar cycle with the sighting of the new moon, which marks the start of Shawal, the month after the fasting season. Ramadan (parched thirst) is touted as a holy month, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and abstain from sex during daytime, as a means to inculcate among them the importance of self-restraint to achieve spiritual perfection.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan Soldiers Kill 73 Al-Shabaab Fighters

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) who are battling in southern Somalia have killed 73 Al-Shabaab militants and recovered 40 guns as military operation to flush out insurgents intensifies in the Horn of Africa nation. KDF spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said on Thursday that the battle which took place in Fafahdun in southern Somalia on Wednesday night also left two Kenyan soldiers dead as KDF intensified the onslaught to reach the strategic port city of Kismayo. “KDF successfully resisted Al-Shabaab attack. A good number of Al-Shabaab are dead,” Chirchir said in his Twitter account in the engagement that lasted several hours in southern Somalia. Chirchir said more than 1,000 Somali militants attacked a strongly defended location occupied by the Kenyan soldiers but were repulsed. He said six Al-Shabaab lorries were recovered during the battle. The development comes as the military has stepped up security along the common border with Somalia following an outbreak of fighting between the government forces and the Al-Shabaab militia.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Bakassi — Final Showdown

With days running out for Nigeria to initiate a possible reversal of its surrender of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, aggrieved indigenes of the former Bakassi have commenced a subtle rebellion AFTER October 10, 2012 every issue concerning the once disputed Bakassi Peninsula should technically come to a halt. That day would mark the tenth anniversary of the judgment of the International Court of Justice in the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over ownership of Bakassi.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Bomb Scare in Kaduna

Kaduna — There was pandemonium at Kaduna office of the African Independent Television (AIT) located at Nagwamatse House on Ahmadu Bello Way yesterday as staff of the organization fled the premises over an abandoned Toyota Camry salon car suspected to be carrying explosives. Narrating how the whole things started, a cameraman with AIT, Malam Umar Usman, said he came into the office around 9am and heard people running towards the parking lot at the premises while others fled out of the building to a safe place.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Fayemi, Bala, Akinjide Greet Muslims at Sallah

EKITI State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has congratulated Muslims in the state and the country in general on the successful completion of the 30 days of Ramadan fast. The governor in a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, also urged Muslims to use the period of Eid- el- Fitri to pray for Nigeria to overcome the present security challenges. He said it is only when peace reigns that Muslims and adherents of other religions can contribute meaningfully to the social and economic development of the country and its component units.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Zuma Orders Probe Into Police Shootings of Miners

South African President Jacob Zuma has ordered a commission of inquiry into why police shot dead 34 striking mine workers. Police say they acted in self-defense. Critics say tactics used were reminiscent of apartheid.

Zuma on Friday cut short his visit to a regional summit in Mozambique and traveled to Rustenburg, 100 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg, near the mine site. He said Thursday’s killings and the earlier killings of 10 other people, including two policemen, during the industrial dispute over the past week were “shocking.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Countdown for Regularization in Italy

Harsher sanctions for employers of illegal immigrants

(ANSAmed) — An estimated half a million illegal workers in Italy will have the opportunity to become legal under a new decree introducing harsher sanctions for those employing immigrants without a regular permit, and granting temporary permits for immigrants reporting their exploiters. Employers will also have the chance to legalize immigrants who are illegally employed by filing an application between September 15 and October 15 and paying 1,000 euros per employee plus six months worth of salaries, welfare and taxes.

The decree implements a 2009 European directive against the illegal work of aliens aimed at boosting cooperation between member states against illegal immigration by banning the employment of foreign workers without regular permits and providing for sanctions against the transgressors.

Under the measure, harsher sanctions will be imposed against those employing more than three irregular workers, minors under 16, or exploiting workers under Italy’s criminal law.

Workers who have been exploited can apply for a six-month humanitarian permit, which can be renewed for a year or for a longer period in case of a criminal trial.

Employers of irregular foreign workers for three months at least can declare the work relation between September 15 and October 15, with the exception of those who have been found guilty in the past five years of crimes connected to the illegal employment or exploitation of foreigners or those who have denounced foreign workers but subsequently failed to legalize them.

The measure does not include foreign workers who have been expelled in the past for public security reasons or on terror charges nor those found guilty of crimes for which Italian law provides for mandatory arrest if caught red-handed. If the regularization procedure is granted the green light, all administrative and criminal charges connected with the illegal employment declared will be annulled.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Another Gay ‘Hate Crime’ Hoax: ‘Victim’ Injured Himself With a Somersault

In yet another example of an alleged “hate crime” unraveling, a young homosexual whose tale of abuse became a national issue has admitted he made the whole thing up.

Joseph Baken admitted in court today that he had perpetrated a hoax by telling police three men had beaten him because he was homosexual, lacerating his face.


However, video promptly surfaced showing Baken doing a backflip on a paved street, shortly after a cameraman said he had “a sexy belly.” The film captured Baken hurtling down toward the curb, and then smacking his face in the areas that appear bruised in the photograph.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Democrats Officially Add Homosexual ‘Marriage’ To Party Platform

The Democratic party has voted to officially add homosexual marriage to its platform, and has called for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The decision came down Saturday in Detroit, Michigan in front of a full platform committee. The vote to support “marriage equality” and “to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples” was unanimous.

The platform included an exemption for Christians and religious institutions.

“We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference,” the document stated.

As previously reported, a platform drafting committee, which included openly homosexual senator Barney Frank, pushed for the inclusion when it was first written in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The addition to the platform passed unanimously.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Genetically Engineering ‘Ethical’ Babies is a Moral Obligation, Says Oxford Professor

Genetically screening our offspring to make them better people is just ‘responsible parenting’, claims an eminent Oxford academic.

Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.

The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.

The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest.

He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.

He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality — with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.

By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.

In the end, he said that “rational design” would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Texas State Representative Comes Out as ‘Pansexual’

A Democratic woman that was elected to the Texas House of Representatives earlier this year has announced that she is a pansexual.

Mary Gonzales, 28, who was believed to be the first openly lesbian state representative, befuddled many when she divulged the information in a recent interview with the Dallas Voice. Gonzales stated that she is not only “sexually-oriented” to both men and women, but also transgendered men and women. She explained that a pansexual is a person who does not believe in a “gender binary,” because “gender identity isn’t the defining part of my attraction.”

Gonzales said she kept the term in the closet while she ran for office and rather allowed people to classify her as a lesbian, but after beating out two challengers in the primaries and currently finding herself running unopposed by any Republican challengers, she wanted to clarify the matter.

“During the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone,” Gonzales stated. “Now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Facebook Stock Slides 6% as Insiders Get Chance to Sell

Facebook’s life as a public company has been a nightmare from day one, and the pain continued on Thursday as some company insiders got their first chance to dump shares.

Facebook stock fell nearly 7% Thursday morning, hitting a new intra-day low of $19.69. By 11 a.m., shares were holding around just under $20.

About 22 million shares changed hands in the first 10 minutes, and within the first hour-and-a-half, that volume soared to 78 million. About 271 million shares are newly eligible for sale Thursday.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Where is the Indictment of Julian Assange?

The story we get repeatedly from the press is that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London because he fears being sent by the British to Sweden to answer sex charges and then eventually being extradited to the U.S. to answer espionage charges here.

It’s true that British Foreign Minister William Hague says the country has a “legal obligation to see Mr. Assange extradited to Sweden.” But there is no confirmation of a U.S. indictment of Assange.

Much of the coverage seems designed to make Assange into a martyr of some kind.

Some members of the press, however, are raising questions. The New York Times noted, “It struck many as odd that Mr. Assange, who shot to fame as a fighter for media freedom, chose Ecuador as a potential refuge. Mr. Correa has presided over a crackdown on journalists there.” It is only odd if one believed the propaganda about Assange being a free speech advocate or “whistleblower” in the first place. On the contrary, he has functioned as an agent of influence for the Russian government.


The Russia Today (RT) show, funded by Moscow, is broadcast into the United States but has not been required to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Holder shows the same leniency to such outlets as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Jazeera and Iranian Press TV.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

You, Too, Can Purchase a Not-Quite Panopticon

by J.D. Tuccille

We’re almost certainly not yet living in the Panopticon. But any step in that direction-even if it’s well-spun marketing-speak-is worth watching.

If you were trying to attract the attention of every conspiracy-minded, government-suspecting cyberactivist on the planet, you couldn’t have done a better job with sky-writing and billboards. A previously unknown hacker group calling itself Anti-Leaks stages an impressively powerful and extended distributed denial of service attack against WikiLeaks, even while improbably claiming to represent “young adults, citizens of the United States of America” and targeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as “a new breed of terrorist.” And what was WikiLeaks doing during this assault? It was attempting to release documents about a creepy-sounding, high-tech surveillance system called TrapWire. It’s all very interesting — even if many of the documents have more to do with price tags than paranoia.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]