Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120914

Financial Crisis
»Fed Launches New Bond-Buying Program
»Marc Faber: If I Were Bernanke, I Would Resign
»Marc Faber: Fed Policy Will ‘Destroy the World’
»Spain’s Debt Surges to Record, Compounds Budget Woes
»US Central Bank Stimulus Lifts World Stock Markets
»Anti-Islam Film: Clinton Condemns Video and Bloody Blacklash
»It’s All Starting to Unravel for Obama
»Local Muslims Condemn Force, Killings in Libya
»NYC Board of Health Passes Big-Soda Crackdown Rule
»Obama Adminstration Breaches the First Amendment
»Obama’s Muslim Childhood
»Obama: ‘I Stand Up for Foreign Aid’ To Answer ‘Biblical Call’
»Planning Commissions, Smart Growth and Land Use
»Report: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Nakoula a Government Informant
»The Democratic Party and a Second Holocaust
»The U.S. Dead Horse
»Halton Police Find $744k Worth of Drugs Using High-Tech Pot-Spotting Drones
Europe and the EU
»France: Toulouse Gunman’s Brother Denies Complicity Charges
»Italy Increases Security at U. S. & Israeli Missions
»Santorini Sees Growth Spurt
»UK: London Mansion on Sale for Record Asking Price of Nearly $500m
»UK: Party Packs and T-Shirts for Celebrating the Death of Margaret Thatcher on Sale at Tuc Conference
»UK: UBS Rogue Trader Who ‘Gambled Away £1.4billion in Biggest-Ever City Fraud
»UK: Woman Accused of Trying to Kill Newborn Baby by Hurling Her Down 50ft Rubbish Chute Appears in Court for First Time
North Africa
»Anti-Islamic Film: Casablanca Protesters Head to Usconsulate
»Anti-Islam Film: One Dead in Tripoli, Al-Arabiya TV Reports
»Caroline Glick: The Reign of Imagination
»Glen Doherty, A Former U.S. Navy Seal, Was Among Four Americans Killed in an Attack on a Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Libya
»Libya: Int’l Community Distracted, Me Expert Mezran Says
»Libya: Revealed: Inside Story of US Envoy’s Assassination
»Muslim Cleric Tears Bible at Protest Outside the US Embassy in Cairo
»The Murder of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens Proves the Arab Spring Was Never What it Seemed
»U.S. School Ransacked, Set Ablaze in Tunis as Anti-American Protests Spread
»US Embassy in Tunis Evacuated as Protesters Enter
Middle East
»ABC Skips Netanyahu’s Rebuke of Obama Admin Over Iran
»Anti-Islam Film: Salafis Protest Near US Embassy in Amman
»Britain Poised to Evacuate Diplomats From Middle East
»Pope in Lebanon: Arab Spring is Positive, Yet More Tolerance
»Pope Hails Arab Spring and ‘Renewed Arab Dignity’
Far East
»Chinese Vessels Patrol Waters Surrounding Disputed Islands
»Hong Kong Citizens Protest Against Government Brainwashing While American Citizens Embrace Communist Ideals
»US and China Caught Secretly Testing GMO Rice on Children
Sub-Saharan Africa
»British and German Embassies Attacked by Sudanese Rioters
»Brutal Elephant Slaughter Funds African Conflicts
Latin America
»Drug Cartels, Terrorists, And Banks
»Australia Relaunches Offshore Asylum Detention
Culture Wars
»Family Group Protests High School Teacher Showing ‘Brokeback Mountain’ In Class
»Hollywood Star Embraces Incest
»Pornography ‘Setting Moral Standard’ For Young People
»Microsoft Admits Millions of Computers Could be Infected With Malware Before They’re Out of the Box
»Snow on Mars: NASA Spacecraft Spots ‘Dry Ice’ Snowflakes

Financial Crisis

Fed Launches New Bond-Buying Program

The Federal Reserve on Thursday, in an effort to target stubbornly high unemployment, offered an array of open-ended stimulus programs designed to keep interest rates low until an economic recovery gains significant traction.

In a strategy shift, the Fed’s latest round of quantitative easing, commonly referred to as QE III, will target mortgage backed securities rather than U.S. Treasuries. And, importantly, the Fed said it plans to keep interest rates low even after a recovery gains momentum.

The Fed statement said it “expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted recently that Fed policy could soon be tied directly to the U.S. labor markets. Without setting specific targets, the Fed’s announcement did just that.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Marc Faber: If I Were Bernanke, I Would Resign

Central bankers are “counterfeit money printers” and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should resign for messing up the U.S. economy so badly, Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Doom and Boom, told CNBC on Friday.

He said Bernanke was one of the main proponents of an ultra-expansionist economic monetary policy that was to blame for the latest financial crisis.

“If I had messed up as badly as Bernanke I would for sure resign. The mandate of the Fed to boost asset prices and thereby create wealth is ludicrous — it doesn’t work that way. It’s a temporary boost followed by a crash,” Faber said.

Faber, who rose to prominence after predicting the 1987 financial crash report and dubbed “Dr Doom” for his negative predictions, said: “This unlimited QE (quantitative easing) , buying mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and continuing operation twist has the implication of simply having asset prices go up and the money flows down to the Mayfair economy,” Faber said.

A Mayfair economy is one which benefits the wealthier and better off in society. Faber said this latest round of QE would not help the “man on the street”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Marc Faber: Fed Policy Will ‘Destroy the World’

“It is difficult to tell what will happen. I happen to believe that eventually we will have a systemic crisis and everything will collapse. But the question is really between here and then. Will everything collapse with Dow Jones 20,000 or 50,000 or 10 million? Mr. Bernanke is a money printer and, believe me, if Mr. Romney wins the election the next Fed chairman will also be a money printer. And so it will go on. The Europeans will print money. The Chinese will print money. Everybody will print money and the purchasing power of paper money will go down. And I don’t like bonds. I don’t particularly like equities, but I think equities are a better space to be in than bonds.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain’s Debt Surges to Record, Compounds Budget Woes

Spain’s public debt hit a new record in July, increasing concerns the country might not meet its budget deficit targets this year. However, a glimmer of hope comes from progress in Spain’s debt-laden autonomous regions.

In the second quarter of 2012, Spanish sovereign debt soared to 804 billion euros ($1.046 trillion), reaching 75.9 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Bank of Spain announced Friday.

The figure is up from 774 billion euros in the first three months of this year, when the shortfall amounted to 72 percent of the Spanish GDP.

According to the Spanish central bank data, the capital owed by the central administration increased by 4.4 percent in the months of April through June, while the debt of the country’s semi-autonomous regions went up by a more moderate 2.8 percent.

Debt reduction in the regions made “significant progress,” Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said, referring to the regions’ efforts to rein in huge deficits, which they were able to cut to just 0.77 percent of their GDP.

However, the high debt figure for the central government in Madrid is set to raise doubts about the country’s ability to meet its budget deficit target of 6.3 percent for this year.

In 2011, Spain’s total deficit came in at 8.9 percent of GDP, shattering investor confidence in Spain’s capacity to service its debt, which had led to exorbitantly high borrowing costs for the country.

The European Central Bank on Thursday expressed concern that Spain’s sovereign debt could jump above 100 percent of GDP by 2016 if the country failed to meet its austerity commitments.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

US Central Bank Stimulus Lifts World Stock Markets

Euphoria about the US Federal Reserve Bank’s new stimulus plan has prompted a global equities’ rally, sending gold and commodities prices to new highs. The euro also surged, as the US dollar slumped.

European shares jumped to a 14-month high in trading on Friday, with Germany’s DAX stock market index as well as France’s CAC 40 and London’s FTSE 100 all in positive territory, helping to lift the MSCI index of global stocks to its highest level in 6 months.

Overnight, stock markets in Asia had already rallied dramatically with shares in Hong Kong and Tokyo skyrocketing a staggering 2.9 percent and 1.83 percent respectively.

On Wall Street in the United States on Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index surged to its highest close since 2007.

The upbeat mood was created by the US Federal Reserve Bank’s decision to pump $40 billion (30.6 billion euros) into the ailing US economy each month until the weak US labor market picks up.

The move added to positive market sentiment prompted by the European Central Bank, which announced last week it would buy the bonds of struggling eurozone members in efforts to bring down their borrowing costs.

In bond markets on Friday, the yields of 10-year Italian debt fell below 5 percent for the first time since March, while Spanish yields dropped 3.5 basis points to 5.64 percent.

Neal Gilbert, currency strategist at GFT Forex, told Reuters news agency that decisions made in Europe and the US — coupled with an expected stimulus package in China — could be creating “a bull market for at least the near term.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anti-Islam Film: Clinton Condemns Video and Bloody Blacklash

Film “disgusting”, attacking embassies against working together

(ANSAmed) — New York, September 13 — United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said the government had “absolutely nothing” to do with the American-made film about the prophet Mohammed that has sparked bloody protests and attacks at its embassies in the Middle East.

Clinton said the video was “disgusting and reprehensible”, adding that the US rejected its message, but called the violence unjustified.

On Tuesday US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three employees were killed in an attack sparked by the film but, according to some sources, led by pro-al-Qaeda forces. On Thursday demonstrators stormed the US embassy in Yemen and one was reportedly shot dead as intruders were repelled. “Attacking the embassies is attacking the idea of working together,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

It’s All Starting to Unravel for Obama

There’s a report that our government knew of the attack 48 hours before it happened. You can’t blame this one on George Bush, but something makes me believe the Democrats and the media will try. The Independent, a UK news source, reports the following

“According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and ‘lockdown,’ under which movement is severely restricted.”

We’ve seen it coming. In fact, the Obama presidency started to unravel the day he took office with his hand on the Bible swearing before God and men to uphold the Constitution by closing with “So help me God.”

What’s kept President Obama’s presidency intact for the past four years is the accomplices in the media. His every foible, mis-statement, radical policy, international blunder, executive order, and ties to Islamists either never appeared in print or were buried deep in the fold of page 59 of the New York Times.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Local Muslims Condemn Force, Killings in Libya

‘Protesters broke our commandments,’ Islamic Association members say

[Interestingly, this reporter didn’t bother to ask for the specific Islamic commandments which were supposedly broken, nor did she bother to research her subject to challenge them. — HRW]]

WAPPINGERS FALLS — Protesters who attacked the United States consulate in Libya, killing a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, violated Muslim religious commandments, some local Muslims said.

The anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks brought a new tragedy when an anti-Muslim film sparked a violent backlash that left four Americans dead. U.S. Consulates in Benghazi and Cairo were stormed by protesters Tuesday night. Killed in the attack were U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, private security guard Glen Doherty and one other American who has yet to be identified. Protesters fired gunshots and rocket-propelled grenades.

Angry demonstrations over an anti-Islam video already have occurred in Egypt and Yemen, and officials theorize that well-armed Libyan extremists hijacked a similar protest in Benghazi, where several Libyan security guards also were killed. The U.S. put all of its diplomatic missions overseas on high alert, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered an explicit denunciation of the video as the administration sought to pre-empt further turmoil at its embassies and consulates.

“Any way you dissect it, from a moral or religious standpoint, those protesters broke our commandments,” said Umar Ahmad, a longtime member of the Mid-Hudson Islamic Association located in the Town of Wappinger. “What happened in Libya is unforgivable.”

Aziz Ahsan, another longtime member of the Islamic Association agreed, saying the Koran teaches Muslims that the “pen is mightier than the sword.” But, he said, American Muslims are in a tough spot.

“It’s a difficult situation for American Muslims because there is loyalty on both sides,” Ahsan said.

According to The Associated Press, an anonymous federal law enforcement official said the man behind the anti-Muslim film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which ridicules Muslims and the prophet Muhammad, is 55-year-old Nakoula Basseley Nakoula from California.

“I think the guys who made this movie intentionally created a problem,” Ahmad said. “It should have been ignored.”

Ahmad said he was shocked that embassies were targeted for the attacks.

“In every civilization, ambassadors are given protection, respect and honor, so that’s a total violation of that,” Ahmad said.

Ahsan said one issue is lack of understanding on the part of Muslims in other countries.

“They don’t understand that American government can’t do anything about production, so even though a movie might be vile or demeaning, you’re still allowed to make it,” Ahsan said.

Both men say they hope the recent attacks won’t incite violence against local Muslims.

“None of us have done anything wrong,” Ahmad said. “We condemn their behavior; we’re ashamed of it.”

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

NYC Board of Health Passes Big-Soda Crackdown Rule

New York City’s health board has passed a rule banning super-sized, sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries. The regulation passed Thursday puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas and other calorie-packed beverages.

The ban will apply in fast-food joints, movie houses and Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias and most other places selling prepared food. It doesn’t cover supermarkets or most convenience stores. City health officials say the ban is necessary to combat a deadly obesity epidemic.

The restaurant and beverage industries have assailed the plan as misguided. They say the city’s health experts are exaggerating the role sugary beverages have played in making Americans fat. Some New Yorkers have also ridiculed the rule as a gross government intrusion.

Championed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the unprecedented regulation would follow other ambitious health moves on his watch. Some have proven to be national pacesetters, such as making chain restaurants post calorie counts; McDonald’s announced Wednesday that it would start displaying the information nationwide next week, before a federal requirement that could force all major chains to do so next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama Adminstration Breaches the First Amendment

by Diana West

Two historic attacks on U.S. territory marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — and what happened? The Obama administration surrendered our constitutional principles.

The first was a “blasphemy” riot that breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, whereupon thugs burned the American flag and hoisted in its place the traditional black flag of Islam that flies over al-Qaida and other jihad movements.

The second was a military-style assault against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, believed to have been mounted by a militia known as Ansar al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic Law”), which formed in the U.S.-supported anti-Gadhafi revolution. Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya and former point man to the al-Qaida-linked revolutionaries, and three staff members were killed. Five more Americans were wounded, and the American outpost burned under another black flag of jihad.

An obscure, made-in-the-USA movie critical of Muhammad has been blamed for “causing” these attacks. In fact, it is people in Egypt and Libya who committed these two unprovoked acts of war to mark the 9/11 anniversary. The official response?

The first response actually preceded the mayhem in Cairo when the U.S. Embassy, having suspended regular business in anticipation of the planned movie protest, posted on its website on Sept. 11: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” (As Middle East and Islamic expert Raymond Ibrahim pointed out, the embassy expressed no such solicitude for the “feelings” of a Christian on trial in Egypt for “insulting” Islam, “even as a throng of Muslims besieged the courthouse, interrupting the hearing and calling for the man’s death.”)

Noting the 9/11 anniversary, the embassy statement continued: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Here we see Uncle Sam conceding the First Amendment to safeguard the “feelings” of Muslims, and accepting the basis of Islamic laws against criticizing Islam.

In response, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued an initial statement expressing outrage over the violence and the Cairo embassy statement, which the embassy Twitter feed would underscore in both English and Arabic messages. (Both the statement and subsequent tweets have since been removed.) In the meantime, the White House disowned the embassy statement as unauthorized.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the embassy message to “deplore” free speech. Clinton said: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

Actually, the nation’s founding commitment is to religious “liberty.” It’s important to realize that Clinton supports an anti-liberty, U.N. anti-blasphemy resolution designed to curb criticism of Islam, advocating the circumvention of the First Amendment through what she calls “plain old-fashioned peer pressure and shaming.” Assaults on sovereign territory, it would seem, simply go too far…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Muslim Childhood

If Obama and his supporters wish to focus on biography, of course, this is a game two can play. Already, the temperate, mild-mannered Romney criticized Obama’s reelection campaign as “based on falsehood and dishonesty” and a television ad went further, asserting that Obama “doesn’t tell the truth.”

A focus on openness and honesty are likely to hurt Obama far more than Romney. Obama remains the mystery candidate with an autobiography full of gaps and even fabrications. For example, to sell his autobiography in 1991, Obama falsely claimed that he “was born in Kenya.” He lied about never having been a member and candidate of the 1990s Chicago socialist New Party; and when Stanley Kurtz produced evidence to establish that he was a member, Obama’s flacks smeared and dismissed Kurtz. Obama’s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, contains a torrent of inaccuracies and falsehoods about such his maternal grandfather, his father, his mother, his parents’ wedding, his stepfather’s father, his high school friend, his girlfriend, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As Victor Davis Hanson puts it, “If a writer will fabricate the details about his own mother’s terminal illness and quest for insurance, then he will probably fudge on anything.”

Into this larger pattern of mendacity about his past life arises the question of Obama’s discussion of his faith, perhaps the most singular and outrageous of his lies.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama: ‘I Stand Up for Foreign Aid’ To Answer ‘Biblical Call’

( ) — In a video posted Sept. 10 on the “Catholics for Obama” page on his campaign website, President Barack Obama says that one of the reasons he supports foreign aid is because he is answering the biblical call “to care for the least of these.”

“When I decide to stand up for foreign aid, it’s not just about strengthening alliances or promoting democratic values, it’s also about the Biblical call to care for the least of these, for the poor for those at the margins of our society,” Obama says on the video.

As president, Obama renewed U.S. aid to the United Nations Population Fund, which helps China with it coercive population control program, and continued to provide funding to the Egyptian military, which according to the State Department killed 25 Egyptian Christians last October.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Planning Commissions, Smart Growth and Land Use

Back in the early 90’s, I listened to Henry Lamb and Joan Veon on satellite radio telling us about United Nations Agenda 21 and what was coming to America. Now it’s here, and it’s in every city and county in America.

Some towns have citizenry who are aware and active enough to stall or destroy the efforts of local planners and Smart Growth. Other areas, despite large populations, have few who are willing to protect and fight for their property rights. In Knoxville, TN, few citizens go to city and county commission meetings and/or to local groups or meetings to fight Agenda 21 and Smart Growth.

Our county population is nearly 500,000, yet at the latest county commission meeting, there were less than a dozen knowledgeable people who attended this extremely important meeting. (We’ll discuss this in part 2.) Our enemies are winning because of the apathy of our citizenry, and the work load is killing those of us who do all the fighting.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Report: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Nakoula a Government Informant

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s insistence that the U.S. government had “absolutely nothing to do with” the “disgusting and reprehensible” anti-Islam movie that touched off violent demonstrations has been complicated by the revelation that the film’s producer was a government informant.

Producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula became an informant after his 2009 arrest for bank fraud, according to The Smoking Gun.

Nakoula provided federal prosecutors with a detailed account of the fraud operation and fingered the alleged head of the operation. In return his prison sentence was reduced.

The disclosure could further fuel conspiracy theories in the Muslim world asserting that the American government was behind the movie “Innocence of Muslims,” which President Obama has flatly denied.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

The Democratic Party and a Second Holocaust

I admit the title of this article is incendiary, but these are incendiary times — not just because the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has been torched and the embassy in Cairo attacked by Islamic fanatics protesting a movie no one ever heard of, let alone saw, but because, in the midst of this, the president of the United States declined to meet with the prime minister of Israel when Benjamin Netanyahu is in the U.S. next week for the convening of the General Assembly.

Not surprisingly, the White House has branded this a false report and — mirabile dictu in this election season — Obama did speak with the Israeli prime minister for an hour Tuesday evening.

Was this a hurried arrangement to avoid a public relations debacle for the president?

Most likely. The result was a fairly bland announcement by the White House. And we all know Obama despises Netanyahu. He said as much to Sarkozy on an open mike. Our president prefers the likes of the charming Russian leadership (also available on open mike) and the quasi-Islamist prime minister of Turkey who massacres Kurdish civilians and opposes the equality of the sexes.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The U.S. Dead Horse

by Daniel Greenfield

When Obama arrived in Cairo to tell the Muslims of the world that America does not want to fight, let alone win, he was declaring that America was now the weak horse. What the bearded men understood was that the competition was over and that Islam has won. The Islamists can always win by default if they can convince the fast, strong and agile American horse not to run.

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse,” Osama Bin Laden famously said. The deceased mass murderer had a point, even if it wasn’t a very original one.

Sentimentalists may admire the horse that lets other horses win so they don’t get too upset and kick it around in the stable that night, but the crowds do not flock to cheer on losers. Nor can kings and prime ministers be expected to stake their fortunes and futures on the horse that loses so other horses feel good about themselves.

When Obama arrived in Cairo to tell the Muslims of the world that America does not want to fight, let alone win, he was declaring that America was now the weak horse. “We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan,” he assured the Muslim Brotherhood attendees, and told them that, “events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy.”

The bearded men glowering at him heard from the new leader of the United States that he had come “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world… based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.” What they understood was that the competition was over and that Islam had won.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Halton Police Find $744k Worth of Drugs Using High-Tech Pot-Spotting Drones

On Tuesday, officers used one of the unmanned aerial vehicles to locate 744 marijuana plants — with a street value of about $1,000 per plant — in a field in the north end of Milton.

“It’s pretty easy to spot.” said Sgt. Leder. “A lot of the spots these growers pick are in farm fields.” The dark green marijuana plants stand out against the other plants, typically corn.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

France: Toulouse Gunman’s Brother Denies Complicity Charges

French judges on Monday grilled the brother of Mohammed Merah, the al Qaeda-inspired terrorist who carried out a series of deadly shootings in Toulouse last March. Abdelkader Merah has denied being complicit in his brother’s deadly acts.

The brother of France’s al Qaeda-inspired terrorist Mohammed Merah has told judges he had no part in the series of deadly shootings that claimed lives of seven people in Toulouse earlier this year.

Abdelkader Merah, 29, faced lengthy questioning by specialist anti-terrorist judges for the first time on Monday.

His 23-year-old sibling was behind the cold-blooded killing of three Jewish children, a Rabbi and three soldiers in and around the southwestern city of Toulouse in March this year.

Mohammed admitted carrying out the killings before he was shot dead by armed police at the end of a dramatic 30-hour siege at his Toulouse apartment. In the aftermath of his death, France’s intelligence services, which had been tracking him since 2010, were heavily criticised for failing to prevent the killings.

Abdelkader has been held in custody since the killings on suspicion of complicity in terrorism, murder and theft.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy Increases Security at U. S. & Israeli Missions

(AGI) Rome — Italy’s Interior Ministry has issued an alert following the violent protests over the “blasphemous” film about the Prophet Mohammed. In a message to municipal law enforcement, the ministry recommends increased vigilance on sensitive sites, in particular U.S. and Israeli diplomatic missions.

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

Santorini Sees Growth Spurt

In the south Aegean Sea, the islands of Santorini have been showing signs of unrest for the first time in over half a century. Satellite data confirm that the islands have risen as much as 14 cm since January 2011.

The Santorini volcano’s last major explosive eruption was about 3600 years ago. This event formed a large crater, or caldera, which is now flooded by the sea.

For the past 2000 years Santorini has shown different behaviour patterns, with small eruptions of lava every few tens or hundreds of years, slowly building a new volcanic edifice from the sea floor.

The Kameni islands, which lie in the middle of Santorini’s large flooded crater, form the top of this youngest part of the volcano. The last eruption of the Kameni islands was in 1950. For the next 60 years, Santorini was quiet.

In January 2011, a series of small earthquakes began beneath the islands. Most were small enough that they could only be detected with sensitive seismometers, but several were felt by the local residents.

“On one particular day in April 2011, two tour guides told me they had felt an earthquake while they were on the volcano and that the motion of the ground had actually made them jump,” said Michelle Parks, a PhD student working with a team of scientists to map Santorini’s ground deformation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: London Mansion on Sale for Record Asking Price of Nearly $500m

A London mansion believed to be adorned with millions of dollars worth of gold leaf decoration is on the market for a record asking price of $483 million.

The 60,000-square-foot home, once was owned by late Lebanon Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, contains 45 bedrooms, underground parking, a swimming pool and possibly bulletproof windows, according to the Telegraph.

The UK’s record price for a home was set in 2010, when a penthouse at One Hyde Park in London was bought for $226 million.

Hariri’s mansion was given to late Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz in 2005.

The property’s agents, Knight Frank, told the Financial Times that the mansion is being offered to select international buyers, but it’s not listed publicly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Party Packs and T-Shirts for Celebrating the Death of Margaret Thatcher on Sale at Tuc Conference

Party packs for celebrating the death of Baroness Thatcher, on sale at the TUC conference, were condemned yesterday as ‘grotesque and obscene’.

The boxes, which contain balloons, party whistles and indoor fireworks, were so popular that they sold out on the second day of the conference in Brighton.

The pack, sold by a socialist bookstall called Bookmark, is called Ding Dong, Thatcher’s Gone, and boasts on the cover that it contains ‘everything you need to celebrate the big day’.

This includes ‘specially themed balloons, party whistles, indoor firework party poppers and special invitation cards to give to your friends, all in a collectable cardboard box’.

Another stall was selling T-shirts rejoicing at the prospect of Lady Thatcher’s death. One design features a white cross on a grave with ‘Thatcher’ across it, and the words: ‘A generation of trade unionists will dance on her grave.’

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: UBS Rogue Trader Who ‘Gambled Away £1.4billion in Biggest-Ever City Fraud

A City trader who believed he had a ‘magic touch’ gambled away £1.4 billion in Britain’s biggest ever alleged banking fraud, a court heard today.

Investment banker Kweku Adoboli, 32, allegedly invented fictitious accounts to conceal the massive losses he was making at Swiss bank UBS from risky deals.

Southwark Crown Court heard the ‘rogue trader’ was ‘fraudulently side-stepping’ his bank’s rules but then cooked the books to make it look as if the money he was gambling was being balanced by cash coming in.

His losses totalled £1.4billion — wiping around 10 per cent or about £2.8billion off UBS’s share price.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Woman Accused of Trying to Kill Newborn Baby by Hurling Her Down 50ft Rubbish Chute Appears in Court for First Time

Iraqi born Jaymin Abdulrahman, 24, appeared in court today charged with attempted murder.

The six-day-old tot was found by police officers inside a bin at the back of flats in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, at 6.30pm on Saturday.

The baby plunged 50ft from the fifth floor down a rubbish chute, which led to a refuse collection area where she was found shortly after being reported missing.

The stricken tot was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with serious injuries.

Yesterday the baby was still fighting for life but was ‘not expected to survive’, a court heard. Officers rushed to the flats after a 999 call was made reporting a missing child.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Anti-Islamic Film: Casablanca Protesters Head to Usconsulate

Clash with police, a dozen arrested

(ANSAmed) — RABAT, SEPTEMBER 13 — Casablanca has joined the fray in protesting the anti-Islamic film. Hundreds of people who mobilized over the social networks gathered on Boulevard Moulay Youssef, heading towards the US consulate nearby.

The protesters clashed with security forces, who prevented them from reaching the consulate, arresting a dozen people. The protest lasted three hours, with chants against President Obama and calling for the US consul to be expelled.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Anti-Islam Film: One Dead in Tripoli, Al-Arabiya TV Reports

Stones and tear gas in front of US embassy in Cairo

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT — One person died and another 25 were wounded in the northern city of Tripoli as demonstrators clashed with police during a protest against the anti-Islamic film, al-Arabiya pan-Arab TV reported on Friday.

In Cairo, hundreds of protesters and police are exchanging a hail of stones and tear gas in front of the US embassy, where security forces have set up a three-meter cement-block barrier. Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square to hear a Salafite preacher who led Friday prayers. “It is necessary to make decisions against the criminals and pigs who committed this crime against our prophet,” the preacher said. “The country’s leaders are not acting appropriately given the gravity of what happened. Where is the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, where are the religious and political leaders?” The preacher went on to accuse the Coptic Christians who allegedly made the offensive film, which has triggered protests throughout the Muslim world, of plotting to foment a divisive war. “It is well known that they are planning a war and a sectarian division. They are implicating the United States in hopes that Washington will help them divide the country.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: The Reign of Imagination

As he suffocated to death at the US Consulate in Benghazi on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the US, did US Ambassador Christopher Stevens understand why he and his fellow Americans were being murdered?

From what we have learned of this man since he was killed, it is clear that he was extremely courageous. He stole into Benghazi in April 2011 on a cargo ship to serve as chief US liaison officer to the rebel forces fighting Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He did the business of the US government in makeshift offices and moved from safe house to safe house under what can only be considered dire conditions of combat.

But did he understand the forces he was unleashing?

Stevens arrived in Benghazi at an early phase of US involvement in the rebellion against Gaddafi, a former US foe who had been neutered since 2004. But even then it was clear that the rebels with whom he worked included jihadist fighters associated with al-Qaida. Their significance became obvious when just after the regime fell in November 2011, rebel forces foisted the flag of al-Qaida over the courthouse in Benghazi.

Did Stevens understand what this meant? Perhaps he did. But his boss, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, certainly didn’t. Following Tuesday’s attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Clinton said, “Today, many Americans are asking — indeed, I asked myself — how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.”…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Glen Doherty, A Former U.S. Navy Seal, Was Among Four Americans Killed in an Attack on a Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Libya

One of the Americans killed alongside Ambassador Christopher Stevens in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya Tuesday told ABC News before his death that he was working with the State Department on an intelligence mission to round up dangerous weapons in the war-torn nation.

In an interview with ABC News last month, Glen Doherty, a 42-year-old former Navy SEAL who worked as a contractor with the State Department, said he personally went into the field to track down so-called MANPADS, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, and destroy them. After the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the State Department launched a mission to round up thousands of MANPADS that may have been looted from military installations across the country.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Libya: Int’l Community Distracted, Me Expert Mezran Says

Tuesday’s was an attack on democracy, the police is weak

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 12 — “After the enthusiastic declarations on the elections in Libya, the international community got distracted”, Johns Hopkins University Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Karim Mezran told ANSAmed in an interview on Wednesday.

A senior fellow at the Washington, DC-based Middle East Policy Council, Mezran, who is Libya-born, directs the American Studies Center in Rome and co-edited the book “Libya: End or Rebirth of a Nation”, published recently by Italian Donzelli. In a telephone interview from Washington, DC, Mezran said he has no doubt that last night’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi is yet another attempt at the “destabilization” of a country that is still struggling to make a democratic transition after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

“The problem is the weakness of the security forces, which are infiltrated by Salafists”, he said. “A stronger intervention in support of the local police is needed”.

He urged the West to act on this issue, which he said is recognized from within the country itself. The Libyan government should ask for help, because it is not immune to the fate of the American ambassador, said Mezran. Libya’s interior ministry is clearly incapable of containing the violence, as was shown in the recent attack on the Rajma mausoleum near Benghazi, in which local residents took up arms against a group of fundamentalists, leaving three people dead. Mezran supports US President Barack Obama’s decision to send marines to defend US diplomatic missions in Benghazi and Tripoli. Europe, including Italy, and NATO should also intervene in favor of local security forces, he said.

“They should be helping to guarantee stability, instead of just trying to do deals that may never close because no one can guarantee them”, the professor said with regard to Italians.

The authorship of yesterday’s attack is unclear, he added.

Until it took place, he said, “very few people had seen that film about Mohamed”, which is now readily available on the Internet. Someone, be they Gaddafi supporters or terrorist groups, is “fomenting” the crowds. It was “not a spontaneous gesture, but part a clear attack on democracy in Libya”, and the government must be enabled to “show that the state is stronger”, Mezran concluded.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Libya: Revealed: Inside Story of US Envoy’s Assassination

America ‘was warned of embassy attack but did nothing’

The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.

American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.

The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Muslim Cleric Tears Bible at Protest Outside the US Embassy in Cairo

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — During the demonstration which was held in front of the American Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, 9/11, a Muslim cleric named Abu Islam tore and burned the Holy Bible in front of thousands of Muslims. His action was met with applause and anti-Christian cheers from the demonstrators. Before leaving the demonstration and getting into his car, he told the crowds “next time I will urinate on it.”

The video above shows the Muslim cleric tearing the Bible. The video says:

  • 0.02 “the overwhelming Book, the Book of Truth and Peace. The place for these words and this book is over the heads because it is the real inspiration… (He places the Koran on his head) voices chanting Allahu Akbar.
  • 0.30 He Says: message to the Egyptian Christians. Out of respect and politeness to the Egyptian Christians we will not do the same like what they did to our God’s book , we will be generous towards you today and say we will respect you “momentarily.” We will respect this book which is in the Arabic language.
  • 0:54 Demonstrators’chants “Coming, Coming O Islam”
  • 1.09 Abu Islam holds another bible and says: This is the book the dog Terry believes in, as well as those dogs with him the Egyptian Christians in America.
  • 1.19 Abu Islam: Today I can only TEAR IT APART. He starts tearing the bible and throwing the leaves towards the mob, amid chants of Allahu Akbar and “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Mohammad is coming.”
  • 2.06 Abu Islam saying: to all the cross worshippers around the world we will not keep quiet . Today, we tore it.
  • 2.13 a man in blue beside him burns the bible raising it for everyone to see.
  • Abu Islam: Salamu Aleycom (Peace be with you) and leaves, with mob chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Mohammad is coming.” “Governing, governing, O Koran.” “Coming, Coming O Islam.”

Dr. Mustafa Maraghy, professor of law and Islamic law at Cairo University, filed a complaint with the Attorney General against the cleric, whose real name is Ahmed Abdullah. The complaint cited Abdullah, who is the owner of the TV channel the Islamic Nation, for contempt of religion, disturbing public security and peace.

Dr Maraghy, who is the chairman of the Coptic Coalition, said that tearing and burning the Holy Bible, which all Christians in the world believe in, is a “villainous and barbaric act.” He added that it is not permitted at all to defame religions. “The same hurt feelings we felt by the film which insulted the prophet is the same that we felt by this criminal act,” he said.

He vowed that the Coptic Coalition will not ignore such “ignorant people” but will prosecute them. The Maspero Coptic Youth Union has called on President Morsy to intervene immediately to put an end to any efforts which would kindle the fire of sedition between Muslims and Copts.

Another complaint was also filed this morning against Abu Islam by Karam Gabriel, lawyer with the Copts of Egypt Coalition, for his recent burning of the Holy Bible as well as his previous insults to Christianity through his books and through his Islamic Nation TV Channel.

The Coalition, which has among its members Muslims and Copts, has issued an official statement condemning the film insulting the Prophet of Islam. Magdy Saber, spokesman for the Union, condemned Abu Islam’s tearing and burning of the Bible in front of the Copts who were present before the US Embassy, where they had gone in support of their Muslim brothers regarding to prophet’s film.

Saber demanded from officials to take the necessary measures to prevent sedition among the Egyptians. “If we condemn the film-makers of the prophet film who live outside Egypt,” he said, “we should also condemn this disgraceful act in Egypt, stressing the need to punish Abu Islam for his irresponsible actions.”

In an interview today with The Mohit newspaper, Abu Islam denied burning the Bible, he said “I tore it apart and threw it to the demonstrators to step on it with their shoes.” He added, “Next time I will make my grandson urinate on it, as the saying goes, an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth and the starter is at fault.”

Commenting on the fact that the film producers do not represent all Copts and the masses of the American people and therefore their holy book should not be insulted in response, Abu Islam said “if someone one did something, everyone bears the guilt and bears the outcome. Did not all Muslims bear the pain of what Osama bin Laden did? Did not all Muslims bear the pain of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman being described as a terrorist? Let them taste from the cup the Islamic world had to drink.”

“Until now we have not heard any condemnation from any Muslim organization or Al-Azhar,” said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid, “as our church did concerning the Prophet film. We have hope that the Church will say something about our Holy Book.”

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih[Return to headlines]

The Murder of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens Proves the Arab Spring Was Never What it Seemed

Bloody violence in Libya and protests in Egypt should dispel any notion that these revolutions were a vote in favour of Western ideals.

The murder of the American ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three of his staff in Benghazi in retaliation for a US-made video slandering the Prophet Mohammed will have serious repercussions in the US weeks before the presidential election. The killings undercut President Obama’s claim that the killing of Osama bin Laden has been a death blow to Jihadi Islam. It will also make less credible the White House’s suggestion that it played Libya just right, staying in the background but helping end the rule of Col Muammar Gaddafi.


The truth is that the Arab Spring uprisings, not just in Libya but across the Arab world, drew much of their explosive strength from the combination of very different people and strands of opinion united by hatred of oppressive and corrupt autocracies. Muslim Brothers, middle class intellectuals, Jihadi Islamists, well-off businessmen, impoverished farmers and a medley of others stood together and in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt succeeded in overthrowing long-established dictatorships.


In reality, the rebels were always more violent and anarchic than was reported. They would hardly have lasted more than a few weeks against Gaddafi without close air support from Nato. Since the fall of Gaddafi many of these militias have turned into uncontrolled bands of thugs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

U.S. School Ransacked, Set Ablaze in Tunis as Anti-American Protests Spread

Angry demonstrations against an anti-Islam film spread to their widest extent yet around the Middle East and other Muslim countries Friday. Protesters smashed into the German Embassy in the Sudanese capital and set part of it on fire and climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy in Tunis, waving an Islamist banner.

A large cloud of black smoke has risen around the U.S. embassy in Tunis, where stone-throwing protesters and police are waging a pitched battle.

A Tunisian employee of the embassy with an injured leg was taken out by stretcher to an ambulance.

Thousands of demonstrators have massed outside the embassy and several were seen climbing the outer wall of the embassy grounds and raising a flag on which was written the Muslim profession of faith, an Associated Press reporter on the scene says.

Three people were killed, and 28 were injured.

Agence France-Presse also reported that protesters have attacked and set fire to a U.S. school in Tunis, located close to the embassy, which they stormed despite police firing tear gas and warning shots.

“The protesters who attacked the US embassy in Tunis on Friday set fire to the building of an American school located near the embassy and ransacked the place,” the TAP news agency reported, citing one of its journalists.

Police responded by firing tear gas, and police gunfire could be heard.

One protester was killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes with security forces, after a crowd of protesters set fire to a KFC and an Hardee’s restaurant. Protesters hurled stones and glass at police in a furious melee that left 25 people wounded, 18 of them police.

Protests were held in cities from Tunisia to Pakistan after weekly Friday Muslim prayers, where many clerics in their mosque sermons called on congregations to defend their faith, denouncing obscure movie produced in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Mohammed.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

US Embassy in Tunis Evacuated as Protesters Enter

(AGI) Tunis — Al Jazeera has reported that the United States Embassy in Tunis had been evacuated before those protesting against the blasphemous film entered the compound.

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

Middle East

ABC Skips Netanyahu’s Rebuke of Obama Admin Over Iran

Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC’s World News on Tuesday failed to mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criticism of the Obama administration for not being aggressive in preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons. The CBS Evening News included a plug in its opening teaser and then devoted a full report to the story.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Anti-Islam Film: Salafis Protest Near US Embassy in Amman

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, SEPTEMBER 14 — Strong security forces cordoned 100 meter parameter around the US embassy in Amman Friday to stop Islamist salafis protesting against US produced film that insults prophet Mohammad, eye witnesses said.

Protesters chanted anti-US slogans and called for withdrawing the film, which caused an uproar around the region over the past days.

One prominent salafi leader accused Washington of supporting authoritarian regimes and called for change to its policies in the country.

“The US is playing a double face policy, they say they are with freedom of expression but they also support provocative acts that mean to trigger hatred between people from the west and Muslims,” Abu Mohammad Tahawee, a salafi leader told ANSA.

Anti-riot police, armed with batons, tear gas bombs and water cannons stood nearby to keep protesters in a safe distance from the embassy, one of the largest and most fortified US missions in the region.

The pro-US government promised to protect the embassy from any attack that could be an embarrassment for authorities.

A police source said they have strict orders to protect the embassy from any attack and have provided extra forces around the area as well as house of the American ambassador in Amman.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Britain Poised to Evacuate Diplomats From Middle East

Emergency plans are in place to evacuate UK diplomats and their families following a second day of violence in the Middle East.

Protests over an anti-Islam film saw the US embassy in Yemen stormed yesterday by a mob numbering in the thousands.

The unrest started with the murder of the American ambassador to Libya and has spread to Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Pope in Lebanon: Arab Spring is Positive, Yet More Tolerance

(AGI) Beirut — “The Arab Srping is positive:it is the desire for more democracy,more freedom, more cooperation,a renewed identity”. This is the cry for liberty coming from a youth which is more culturally educated and desires more participation in the political and social life, which spells out as progress, something very positive, welcomed also by us Christians.” On his flight from Ciampino, Benedict XVI dispells the idea that the Church may be identified as supporting the dictators of Northern Africa and the Middle East, last of which -the Syrian Assad- who considered Lebanon to be his home’s playground. The Pontiff cautions also against fundamentalisms.”The history of the revolutions teaches us that such a cry for freedom is important and positive, but there is always a danger of forgetting a fundamental aspect of freedom, which is tolerance for others,” added the Pontiff, replying to journalists.

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

Pope Hails Arab Spring and ‘Renewed Arab Dignity’

Pope Benedict has landed in Lebanon for a three-day visit to the country. Reconciliation between religions will be high on his agenda. Pope Benedict XVI touched down in Lebanon on Friday for a three-day visit to the country.

He was welcomed to the capital, Beirut, by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman after a 21-gun salute and with church bells ringing out across the city.

Hailing the so-called Arab Spring, which has seen the overthrow of several dictators in the Arab world, the pope in his welcoming address acknowledged the “renewed Arab dignity” it had brought. He added that it was a positive “cry for freedom” as long as it was accompanied by religious tolerance.

Reconciliation between Christians and Muslims will be a key element of his visit to the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Vessels Patrol Waters Surrounding Disputed Islands

Six Chinese surveillance vessels began patrolling the waters near a group of disputed islands under Japanese control on Friday, raising tensions between Asia’s two biggest economies.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the flotilla, in two fleets, entered the disputed waters to conduct maritime surveillance near the islands known as Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoya Islands in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan.

“The patrol missions demonstrate our government’s jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islands, and safeguard our country’s maritime rights,” the ministry added.

The Japanese coastguard ordered the Chinese deployed ships to leave the waters, where huge maritime gas and oil fields exist, but only three complied.

“We lodged a strong protest and also we made a strong case that the Chinese side should leave from the territorial waters around the Senkaku islands,” Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told a media conference in Sydney, Australia, after talks with Australia’s foreign and defense ministers.

“I’d like to underscore that we should never let the situation escalate and we have strong hopes for the Chinese to respond in an appropriate and calm manner,” added Gemba, who said he would return to Tokyo a day earlier than planned.

No force had been used to expel the remaining vessels, a coastguard official said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hong Kong Citizens Protest Against Government Brainwashing While American Citizens Embrace Communist Ideals

(NaturalNews) Do citizens of Hong Kong have a better understanding of what it means to be free than millions of Americans do these days? Given many of the changes to our society — and what more and more of us seem to be willing to put up with — the answer is yes.

Here’s a case in point.

Recently, officials in Hong Kong backed off plans to force students there to take Chinese patriotism classes after a week of protests in the one-time British colony that were ignited over fears of pro-Beijing “brainwashing,” the Associated Press reported.

The leader of the semi-autonomous city, Leung Chun-ying, said it will be up to schools to decide for themselves whether they want to hold the classes, which were on pace to become a mandatory part of curriculum in 2015 after a three-year voluntary period.

Anger and resentment over the classes have been mounting for months, the Post reported, stoked by fears that the classes were part of a plan by authorities in Beijing to indoctrinate the city’s younger residents into unflinchingly supporting China’s Communist Party, though Leung and other senior officials denied that.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US and China Caught Secretly Testing GMO Rice on Children

Instead of putting genetically modified foods through proper trials as consumers have been demanding for years, it appears the United States Department of Agriculture in alliance with the Chinese government have instead chosen to secretly test their latest GMO rice on young Chinese children. What’s particularly interesting is the fact that the agencies decided they even needed to test the rice, after claiming that GMO rice and all other GM creations are virtually identical to natural foods.


For the USDA to be secretly testing genetically modified foods on young children while disregarding all calls for real analysis in the United States shows just how the agency is trying to hide. After all, why would you not perform trials out in the open if the results were so favorable? Likely because their previous secret tests were not favorable, and the agency is determining just how detrimental new GMO rice really is.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

British and German Embassies Attacked by Sudanese Rioters

The British embassy in the Sudan has come under attack by rioters as the turmoil sparked by an obscure American film lampooning the Prophet Muhammad continued to sweep across the Muslim world.

Sudanese police were fighting back up to five thousand protesters who had surrounded the mission in capital Khartoum.

Fears for any British nationals that may be trapped inside the building grew this afternoon after protesters stormed and set fire to the German embassy next door, tearing down its national flag and hoisting the Islamic banner.

And as news spread of the uprising, it emerged a splinter cell of demonstrators had climbed the walls of the US embassy in the North African city after apparently being bussed there from the British and German missions.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Brutal Elephant Slaughter Funds African Conflicts

Rebels and militias across Africa have discovered the illegal trade in elephant ivory. Coveted in Asia, their tusks bring in handsome sums that are funding wars across the continent. Many game wardens hardly stand a chance against the slaughter.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Drug Cartels, Terrorists, And Banks

[Comments: Excellent article details how banks were the beneficiaries of the sale of the US taxpayer owned Panama Canal.]

Here’s how it works. The drug cartels and terrorists funnel their dirty money through foreign banks with lax standards. Then those banks transfer the funds into U.S. banks through shell companies and other phony bank accounts. Camouflaged in multiple layers of false transactions, the dirty money is difficult to trace back to the crimes from which it came. After moving through several disguised accounts, the dirty cash looks clean.

HSBC’s operation in the United States is called HSBC Bank of the U.S. (HBUS), and it is one of the largest U.S. processors of transactions for foreign financial institutions. Over a period of several years, bank regulators in the Department of the Treasury repeatedly cited HBUS for money-laundering violations. HBUS executives responded by dutifully drawing up new policies to correct the violations. Then the bank simply ignored the new policies and continued to operate in violation of the law. When the next audit was performed, the regulators discovered the continuing violations and issued new citations. The bank responded with new written policies, and then continued with business as usual, ignoring its own policies. The game was played out dozens of times with citations, new policies, and ongoing money laundering activities that were never corrected. The outlaw bank seemed immune to law enforcement.


In 1977, to the utter horror of loyal Americans, and despite immense public opposition, President Jimmy Carter signed over ownership of the canal to Panama, which was then under the communist dictatorship of Omar Torrijos, who had seized power in a military coup. Torrijos then turned around and surrendered the U.S. military bases at the eastern and western ends of the canal to the communist Chinese.

Considering the military and commercial importance of the canal, why would President Carter do such a thing? Why would he just give the Panama Canal away? The answer is simple: money.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Australia Relaunches Offshore Asylum Detention

Australia has begun deporting undocumented migrants to camps on Pacific islands, reviving its so-called ‘Pacific Solution.’ Human rights groups have criticized the policy — and even its effectiveness is in doubt.

Thirty Sri Lankan asylum seekers will be become the first to have refugee claims processed offshore since 2007 after being flown to the Pacific island nation of Nauru from the Australian territory of Christmas Island on Friday.

The tough new policy aims to deter refugee boats and people-smuggling from neighboring Indonesia. The asylum seekers will initially be forced to live in tents, reportedly in groups of five.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the transfer went “smoothly and without incident.”

“The message is very clear. If you arrive in Australia by boat, you can be taken from Australia by aeroplance and be processed in another country,” Bowen said.

When fully operational, the Nauru detention center will accommodate some 1,500 asylum seekers. Another 600 are to be sent to the isolated Manus Island, which belongs to Papua New Guinea.

Offshore processing means that asylum seekers granted refugee status are not guaranteed resettlement in Australia, but are put on a waiting list to find a country for resettlement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Family Group Protests High School Teacher Showing ‘Brokeback Mountain’ In Class

The Illinois Family Institute is protesting the use of the films “Brokeback Mountain” and “American Beauty” as materials for a local high school class.

The Illinois Family Institute is calling on its supporters to express their opposition to the class materials by contacting the school superintendent and members of the local board of education.

It argues that literature and film teachers can “find ‘reasons’ to justify selecting virtually any film, play, novel, or essay they want to teach.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Hollywood Star Embraces Incest

This week, writer-director Nick Cassavetes released his new movie, “Yellow,” about a woman having an affair with her brother. “I have no experience with incest,” says Cassavetes. “We started thinking about that. We had heard a few stories where brothers and sisters were completely, absolutely in love with one another. You know what? This whole movie is about judgment, and lack of it, and doing what you want.”

But Cassavetes wasn’t done: “Who gives a s—- if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute, but in a way, if you’re not having kids, who gives a damn? Love who you want.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Pornography ‘Setting Moral Standard’ For Young People

Young people are growing to expect sex on demand and without consequences, a Wheaton professor has warned

William Struthers, Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, believes that pornography is reinforcing unrealistic and unhealthy views of sex among young people.

“Pornography is a violation of the childhood mind, creating expectations that anybody and everybody is willing to engage in sex on demand and that consent will always be freely given,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Microsoft Admits Millions of Computers Could be Infected With Malware Before They’re Out of the Box

Hackers have uploaded viruses which can help them steal people’s personal data on to millions of PCs and laptops before they are even taken out of the box, Microsoft has admitted.

The company said it found malware which allows would-be criminals to remotely switch on and control cameras and microphones, among other devices, on machines which were still factory sealed. The software is loaded with counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows, the company said.

“Cybercriminals have made it clear that anyone with a computer could become an unwitting mule for malware,” wrote Microsoft’s assistant general counsel for its Digital Crimes Unit, Richard Domingues Boscovich.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Snow on Mars: NASA Spacecraft Spots ‘Dry Ice’ Snowflakes

A spacecraft orbiting Mars has detected carbon dioxide snow falling on the Red Planet, making Mars the only body in the solar system known to host this weird weather phenomenon.

The snow on Mars fell from clouds around the planet’s south pole during winter about five years ago during the Martian winter spanning 2006 and 2007, with scientists discovering it only after sifting through observations by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Martian south pole hosts a frozen carbon dioxide — or “dry ice” — cap year-round, and the new discovery may help explain how it formed and persists, researchers said.

“These are the first definitive detections of carbon-dioxide snow clouds,” lead author Paul Hayne, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. “We firmly establish the clouds are composed of carbon dioxide — flakes of Martian air — and they are thick enough to result in snowfall accumulation at the surface.”

The find means Mars hosts two different kinds of snowfall. In 2008, NASA’s Phoenix lander observed water-ice snow — the stuff we’re familiar with here on Earth — falling near the Red Planet’s north pole.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

They still don't get it. It's precisely when you pay acknowledge, sympathize with, and apologize to Muslims that they will attack you. Given that their predatory and exploitive culture causes them to view positive outreach as a weakness to be taken advantage of, it's when you engage with them that they realize they've got an in.

If a similar film had been released while, say, Ronald Reagan was in office, these protests and killings wouldn't have happened. Not because Muslims wouldn't have been insulted, but because they would have known that there was no percentage in getting riled up, and that in any event Reagan would have responded to threats against US consulates with overpowering force.

You can see that being the touchy-feely guy who "understands" Islam and apologizes for injuring Muslim sensibilities hasn't done Obama a damn bit of good. The only thing they respect is power, and foreign policy predicated upon any other approach will continue to fail.

Anonymous said...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'