Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121010

Financial Crisis
»28 Good Questions That the Mainstream Media Should be Asking
»Euro Crisis Fuels Global Instability, IMF Warns
»Greece: Athens Mosque Plans ‘Hit by Financial Crisis’
»IMF Fires Broadside at Eurozone in Stability Report
»Interest Rates Climb at Italian-Bond Auction
»Italy: Government to Cut Income Tax, Raise VAT
»Red Cross to Feed Hungry Spanish People
»Afterlife Exists Says Top Brain Surgeon
»American Muslims’ Swing Vote Potential
»British Islamic Preacher Pleads Not Guilty in U.S. To Terrorism
»Carlos Slim: World’s Richest Man, Gets Richer Supplying ‘Obamaphones’ To Poor
»Chicago Meeting Brings Together Catholic-Muslim Dialogues
»Countering Anti-Islam Agendas
»Dearborn: ‘All-American Muslim’ Star Spreads Message of Community, Tolerance in World Travels
»Florida Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest
»Jones Visit to Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High Uneventful
»Lance Armstrong at Center of Cycling’s Most Sophisticated Doping Program, Officials Charge
»Media to Declare Biden the Debate Winner
»Towson White Student Union to Begin Campus Anti-Crime Night Patrols
»U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy
»White Student Union Proposed at Towson University by Matthew Heimbach Sparks Controversy
»Country Shows Support After P.E.I. Mosque Threatened
»Jury Hears Husband’s 911 Call After Wife’s Throat Slit
»Maritime Muslim Chaplain Calls Prison Cuts a ‘Fatwa’
Europe and the EU
»Belgian Police Arrest Seven Alleged Jihadists in Brussels
»Bomb Parts Found in French Terror Probe
»Bono and Barroso Team Up
»EADS, BAE Call Off World’s Biggest Arms Merger
»EU Committee Drafts Offshore Drilling Rules
»Fiat CEO Calls Florence Mayor ‘Bad Copy of Obama’
»France: Islamic Cell: Bombs Found
»France: French Jews Face Unprecedented Wave of Anti-Semitic Attacks
»France: Bomb-Making Material Found in Paris Suburbs
»France: Twelve Suspected Members of French Islamist Cell Linked to Jewish Shop Attack in Detention
»France: French Police Find Explosives in Islamist Probe
»France Uncovers ‘Extremely Dangerous Terrorist Cell’
»Frenchwoman Rings Up Trillion Euro Phone Bill
»Gang-Rape Trial Shocks France and Sparks Row Over Justice System
»German Film Denounces Aid as ‘Sweet Poison’
»Giant Defence Merger Fails Over German Demands
»Italy: Govt ‘To Reclaim Some Regional Powers’
»Italy: PDL Regional Councillor Arrested Over Mafia Links
»Italy: Lazio Caucus Head of Anti-Graft IDV Party Probed
»Italy: Lombardy Case Shows Democracy Violated, Says Prosecutor
»Kidnapped Swiss Man Beaten in France
»Norway Expels Sudanese Diplomat
»Spanish Parliament Blocks Catalonia Independence Vote
»Talks to Form World’s Biggest Aircraft Firm Stall
»Turkey-EU: Europe Wants Stalled Negotiations to Resume
»Two Arrested at Heathrow for Terrorist Activities in Syria
»UK: ‘Congo Fever’ Victim Laid to Rest in Glasgow Central Mosque Service
»UK: ‘Locking Up Killers and Rapists for Life Without Prospect of Release is Not Appropriate’, Court of Appeal Told
»UK: Disabled Boy, 18, Allowed to Fall to His Death Because Health and Safety Fears Meant Carers Could Not Restrain Him
»UK: Islamic Extremist Group in Cardiff Tried to Radicalise Young Muslim
»UK: Julian Assange Dines With Lady Gaga, Who Was Dressed as a Witch — This is Getting Rather Weird
»UK: My Sister’s Cervical Cancer Was Misdiagnosed 30 Times: Mother-of-Four Wrongly Told She Was Suffering From Anxiety
»UK: Newcastle United’s Muslim Players Told Wearing Wonga-Sponsored Shirts Infringes Sharia Law
»UK: Rotherham Locals Plan Unity Demo Against Racist EDL
»UK: Stop the Extradition of Babar and Talha: Muslim Council of Britain Writes to President Barack Obama
»UK: Terror Police Hold British Man and Woman at Heathrow on Suspicion of Kidnapping British Photographer in Syria
»UK: Why I Won’t be Shopping at M&S Any More…
»UK: Work to Begin on Watling Street Road Mosque
»Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia Advance on EU Accession
»Serb Leader Bashes EU Ahead of Key Report
North Africa
»Libya Embassy Security Lessened Before Stevens Murder
»U.S. Embassy in Libya Sought $13,000-Per-Year Bodyguards With ‘Limited’ English; But Gave Preference to Citizen ‘Same-Sex Domestic Partners’ Of U.S. Gov’t Employees
Israel and the Palestinians
»Benjamin Netanyahu Calls Early Israel Elections
»Imperfect Prize, Perfect Winner [Adorno Prize 2012]
Middle East
»CIA’s Free Syria Army Vows to Carry Out Attacks in Lebanon
»Gulf: Abuse of Asian Domestic Workers a Habit
»Iran Warns Israel to Lose 10,000 Troops
»NATO Has ‘Plans in Place’ To Back Turkey in Syrian War
»Sexual Slavery a 10 Mln Trade in Turkish Occupied Cyprus
»Turkey, Sierra Leone Sign Economic Cooperation Agreement
»Turkey-Syria: Press: Rebels Possibly Behind Mortar Fire
»Turkey: Woman Who Killed Rapist Acquitted for ‘Self-Defence’
»Turkish Air Force Lands Syrian Airliner in Ankara
»U.S. Moves to Impose “Buffer Zone” Inside Syria Near Jordan Border
»US Troops Sent to Jordan for Syria Crisis, Panetta Says
South Asia
»6 Policemen Killed in Blast in S. Afghanistan
»CBS Reporter Slams Administration for ‘Major Lie’ Over Weakened Taliban
»Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba Resurfaces in Pakistani City
»Indonesia: Muslim Extremists in the Streets Against Jakarta’s (Christian) Deputy Governor
»Indonesia: Police Tackle ‘Credible’ Terror Threat on 10th Anniversary of Bali Bombings
»Panetta, NATO to Discuss Next Steps in Afghanistan War, Announce New Commanders
Far East
»Tapping Into a More Moderate Islam — In China
Australia — Pacific
»Anti-Islam Group Under Fire Over Leaflet Drop
»‘Trouble-Stirrer’ Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Not Welcome
Sub-Saharan Africa
»China and India — Rivals in Africa
»Mursi Takes Part in Festivals on Golden Jubilee of Uganda
»Nigeria: President of Bishops Conference Urges Government to Act
»Somalia: 7/7 Widow ‘Training Girl Suicide Bombers’
Latin America
»Nearly a Third of Mexico Households Targets of Crime, Study Says
»Italy: Worker Legalization Program Not Successful in Veneto
»UK: Asylum Seeker Admits Killing Young Model, 20, By Driving the Wrong-Way Up a Motorway
»UK: Abu Qatada Appeal is ‘Scraping the Barrel’ Claim Lawyers as Immigration Judge Decides Whether He Can be Deported to Jordan
»UK: Labour ‘Used Migrants to Keep Wages Low’ — Home Secretary Theresa May
Culture Wars
»Gender-Neutral Pronoun Debate Rocks Sweden
»Exomoons May Give US First Glimpse of Habitable Worlds

Financial Crisis

28 Good Questions That the Mainstream Media Should be Asking

We live at a time when the world is changing more rapidly than ever before. Just about everything that can be shaken is being shaken, and anyone with half a brain realizes that we are heading for challenges that previous generations never even could have imagined.

There certainly is no shortage of news, but instead of focusing on the terribly important issues that we are facing, the mainstream media feeds us an endless stream of fluff, scandals and celebrities.

Just check out some of the headlines that I found on the front pages of major mainstream news websites today…

“Man Dies After Roach-Eating Contest”

“Ex-NFL Cheerleader Admits To Sex With Minor”

“Facebook Rolls Out Pinterest-Like Tool For Buying Stuff”

“Grumpy Cat Becomes Internet Sensation”

So what should the mainstream media really be talking about today?

The following are 28 good questions that the mainstream media should be asking…

1. Why is the IMF warning that there is an “alarmingly high” risk of a deeper global economic slowdown?
2. Why is Switzerland preparing for “major civil unrest” throughout Europe?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Euro Crisis Fuels Global Instability, IMF Warns

Risks to global financial stability have increased and financial markets have been volatile as European policymakers grapple with the ongoing crisis, IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report concluded Wednesday. “Faltering market confidence has led to capital flight from countries on the ‘periphery’ to the core of the euro area,” it said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Athens Mosque Plans ‘Hit by Financial Crisis’

by Erdem Günes

The head of the Muslim Association of Greece says country’s secretary-general of religious affairs told him that the Greek government’s project to build a mosque in central Athens has been shelved indefinitely due to the country’s worsening financial crisis, in a meeting in Athens on Oct. 5. “The Greek government will build the mosque in Athens sooner or later, but they cannot afford it now,” Secretary-General George Kalantzis said, “although the country’s Muslims’ continue to demand an imam and a mosque,” Naim El-Ghandour told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview yesterday.

‘Human rights’

The Turkish diplomatic mission in Athens has expressed its support for the establishment of the mosque, saying they have been keeping an eye on the debate. “The construction of a mosque in Athens is a matter of human rights and freedom of worship,” a Turkish diplomat told the Daily News. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Er doðan officially asked then-Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to reopen the Fethiye Mosque in central Athens to use following its renovation on his last official visit to the Greek capital in May 2010…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

IMF Fires Broadside at Eurozone in Stability Report

The International Monetary Fund has said it’s not content with the pace of reforms in the crisis-stricken euro area. In a fresh report, it identifies the 17-member bloc as the main threat to global financial stability.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday urged eurozone countries to speed up reforms in order to get on top of their protracted debt crisis.

“We find that delays in resolving the crisis have increased the amount of asset shrinkage at banks,” the IMF wrote in its latest Global Financial Stability Report. It warned that European lenders might have to sell $2.8 trillion (2.18 trillion euros) of assets unless policymakers found a way of ending the crisis.

The report highlighted the ongoing movement of large amounts of capital from troubled euro area nations to more economically stable regions in the world, including Japan, adding that this had become a major headache for Tokyo.

“Safe-haven flows have driven the yen exchange rate to near historic highs, impacting Japanese exports and domestic production,” the IMF commented, while describing the eurozone crisis as the main threat to global financial stability.

But the German Finance Ministry on Wednesday warned the eurozone dilemma must not become the only topic at the upcoming annual meeting of the IMF in Tokyo at the end of this week, pointing to growing growth problems in emerging nations and increasing US debt levels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Interest Rates Climb at Italian-Bond Auction

Treasury sells 11 billion euros worth of 3-month, one-year BOTs

(ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — The Italian Treasury sold 11 billion euros worth of three-month and one-year bonds on Wednesday but it had to offer higher interest rates to attract buyers than at a similar sale last month.

The average interest rate on the three-month BOT bonds climbed to 0.765% from 0.7% last time, while the average rate on the 12-month BOTs went up to 1.941% and 1.692%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Government to Cut Income Tax, Raise VAT

‘Discipline pays’ says Premier Monti after presenting budget

(ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — Premier Mario Monti said early on Wednesday that his government will cut income tax in the two lowest bands next year after a tense Cabinet meeting on budget measures that ran late into the night.

But he added that a 2% increase in value added tax (IVA) scheduled for July 2013 that the government had hoped to avoid will be halved to 1% rather than scrapped completely. So IVA will go up from 10% to 11% in the lower band and 21 to 22% in the top band. Monti’s stressed that the budget measures, contained in the so-called Stability Law, did not amount to another austerity package like the tax hikes and spending cuts his emergency government passed last year to put Italy on course to balancing its budget in structural terms next year.

But they still featured new cuts, including a reduction of over one billion euros on health spending, that reportedly caused Health Minister Renato Balduzzi to threaten to resign at the cabinet meeting.

Nevertheless, Monti expressed satisfaction at the income-tax cuts, which will primarily benefit lower earners, saying they showed the policies of his administration of non-political technocrats were working.

“Today we can see and feel that budget discipline pays and it is beneficial,” Monti told a press conference.

“We can allow some moderate relief (with moves such as) as start in the reduction of income tax”. The income-tax rate will be cut to 22% from 23% for those earning less than 15,000 euros per year, and to 26% from 27% for salaries between 15,001 and 28,000 euros, while the top three bands will remain unchanged.

Monti’s austerity measures helped stop Italy following Greece on the path towards a default on its massive national debt but they also have deepened the recession the country slipped into last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Red Cross to Feed Hungry Spanish People

The Spanish Red Cross has turned its focus away from war-ravaged conflict zones to help destitute people in Spain hit by EU-imposed austerity measures.

“More people than you could imagine need help in our country. Support the Red Cross,” its new slogan says.

The charity on Wednesday (10 October) launched a food drive it hopes will ease problems among the most vulnerable Spanish residents.

The day marks the country’s annual “Dia de la banderita” or day of the small flag, where people typically turn out to give to those in need elsewhere in the world.

But for the first time in its 100-year history, Red Cross donations will be handed over to Spaniards instead.

Hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets in 30 different cities to collect funds.

The organisation hopes to receive at least €30 million. The money, it says, will help fill the empty stomachs of some 2.3 million Spaniards and immigrants next year.

The Red Cross already helped feed some 2 million Spaniards and immigrants in 2012. It distributed almost 7,000 tonnes of food in September alone.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Afterlife Exists Says Top Brain Surgeon

A prominent scientist who had previously dismissed the possibility of the afterlife says he has reconsidered his belief after experiencing an out of body experience which has convinced him that heaven exists.

Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.

During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion “shut down” and that he then experienced “something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.” In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a “place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones” and “shimmering beings”.

He continues: “Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.” The doctor adds that a “huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. the sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.”

Dr Alexander says he had heard stories from patients who spoke of outer body experiences but had disregarded them as “wishful thinking” but has reconsidered his opinion following his own experience.

He added: “I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone even a doctor told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

American Muslims’ Swing Vote Potential

by Aref Assaf

Most polls indicate that this presidential race will be one that goes down to the wire. In certain swing states, block votes of minority groups will prove decisive. American Muslims, polls also reveal, will be critical for the victory of either Obama or Romney in at least three states; namely, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. But in already-decided states, like the blue state of New Jersey, the community has flexed its political muscle in not only local races but also in congressional battles. It was not a long time ago when fatwas (religious decrees) were calling for a total boycott of voting or political participation. Now, American mosques are a haven for political participation and civic engagement. A recent survey of Americans mosques reveals that, in fact, the more mosque-connected American Muslims are, the more civic-minded and politically proactive they become. Princeton Professor Amaney Jamal strongly supports the thesis that American mosques are central to the rise of the community as a viable player in all things politics. “The mosque, similar to other religious institutions in the United States, takes on the multifaceted role of mobilization vehicle and school of civic participation.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

British Islamic Preacher Pleads Not Guilty in U.S. To Terrorism

British radical Islamic preacher Abu Hamza pleaded not guilty in a U.S. court on Tuesday to 11 terror charges, including conspiring to set up an Al-Qaeda-style training camp on American soil. The one-eyed, handless 54-year-old appeared in Manhattan federal court without his trademark prosthetic hook that he wears on one arm and which was removed by U.S. authorities after he was extradited from Britain last week. The Egyptian-born cleric is being prosecuted under his birth name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, though he is better known in radical circles as Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a former preacher at mosques in Britain. Asked by Judge Katherine Forrest to confirm he wanted to plead not guilty to the charges, the grey-bearded British citizen replied quietly: “Yes, your honor.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Carlos Slim: World’s Richest Man, Gets Richer Supplying ‘Obamaphones’ To Poor

A Mexican telecom mogul who holds the title of world’s richest man, and one of President Obama’s top donors are both getting even richer from the U.S. government program that supplies so-called “Obamaphones” to the poor.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Chicago Meeting Brings Together Catholic-Muslim Dialogues

CHICAGO — Bringing members of three Muslim-Catholic regional dialogue groups together for their first national plenary session in Chicago was a groundbreaking event, but its members agreed that the dialogue must move forward. The “Living Our Faiths Together” plenary, held Oct. 3-5 at Catholic Theological Union, included a retrospective look at Muslim-Catholic dialogue, keynote talks by both Catholic and Muslim speakers, and opportunities for members to share what they have done so far and what direction they think the dialogue should take in the future.The meeting took place in the aftermath of the killing of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and the uprisings throughout the Arab world that participants say are a response to a YouTube video that was highly offensive to Muslims. But members of the dialogue groups said that it’s important for all to remember that Muslims and Christians have lived in peace with one another far more than they have lived in con flict, and that neither group should make the mistake of blaming the other for the actions of a few.

Muslim keynote speaker Jamal Badawi said the short answer to whether Muslims and Catholics can live their faiths together is, “Yes, we can. We did it in the past and we are doing it right now in this blessed gathering.” Badawi is an Egyptian-born Canadian who has the distinction of having served on both management and religion faculties at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has written extensively about Islam. Jesuit Father Tom Michel, who was secretary of the Jesuit Secretariat for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome for 12 years, said the first request he received to speak at the gathering gave the title as “Living Our Faith Together,” and he preferred the idea of discussing Muslims and Christians as sharing different branches of one faith in a single creator God to whom people will be called to account for their deeds…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Countering Anti-Islam Agendas

by Osama al Sharif

In the midst of ongoing controversy over the release of a trailer for an anti-Islam movie, “The innocence of Muslims”, on YouTube and the ensuing violent protests against it across the Arab and Muslim worlds, an American pro-Israel organisation has chosen to launch a vicious hate campaign directed at Islam and Muslims in two major US cities. Few weeks ago, a group called the American Freedom Defence Initiative, paid to run a pro-Israel, anti-Islam ad in New York and San Francisco public transport systems. The ad, posted in subway stations and on public transport buses, said the following: “In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel, defeat Jihad.” And when New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) refused to the run the ad on the grounds that it was demeaning to a group of people, on account of their religion or national origin, the pro-Israel group took it to court and a federal judge ruled in its favour under th e First Amendment. The case has attracted attention not only because it encourages hate speech, but also because it calls into question the right of certain groups to promote such speech in public or government-owned spaces…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Dearborn: ‘All-American Muslim’ Star Spreads Message of Community, Tolerance in World Travels

DEARBORN — From Germany to Brazil to Washington and back to Dearborn, Suehaila Amen has traveled the world as one young Muslim leader trying to help and inspire others.

In September, Amen returned from another trip to Washington, DC, this time to participate in a reception hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The event gathered young Muslim leaders and others from across the country to mark the end of the month of Ramadan, Amen said. Clinton spoke about different initiatives and encouraged those attending to stay active in their communities.

“I’ve gone on several trips with the State Department,” Amen explained.

Several years ago she went to Germany for an event for political leaders on combating extremism and counter terrorism.

Then last April she went to Brazil as part of Generation Change. That program, started by Clinton, encourages young American leaders to help youth in other countries. In this case, American Muslims visited Sao Paolo, Brazil to help teach leadership skills to Muslim youth there. Amen was there for eight days, and later some of the students came to America to see programs here, she said.

“It’s fighting extremism at the grassroots level, especially with the youth,” Amen said. By teaching youth to be leaders in their own communities, they are less likely to become followers in a radical fringe group.

Brazil has a very large Muslim population.

“Just the Lebanese alone I think there are over 15 million. So there are more Lebanese than there are in Lebanon,” Amen said.

The Sao Paolo community has come together to build mosques and schools, using their own funds. In Brazil, like America, Muslims are looking to build stronger communities and to reach out and teach others about themselves. Continued…

However, Brazil differs from the United States in how it views other groups.

“They are very tolerant of different minorities,” Amen said. “They don’t really know about you, but they don’t have any preconceived notions or expectations about you.” That is not always the case in America where especially since 9/11 some groups have gone out of their way to portray Muslims in a negative light.

“Despite all the problems we’ve had since 9/11 there has been a lot of community building across the country,” Amen said. Those lessons, such as taking on community projects and holding informational sessions on the Muslim faith, are the same ideas she is trying to share with others, including those in Brazil.

“Their issues are just how can we advance our community and build a stronger, more cohesive Muslim community,” she said.

Amen said her experiences have taught her about the growth of Muslim communities around the world and the importance of youth being active in their communities…

           — Hat tip: RE[Return to headlines]

Florida Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest

A 32-year-old man downed dozens of roaches and worms to win a python at a Florida reptile store, then collapsed and died outside minutes later.

Edward Archbold was among 20 to 30 contestants participating in Friday night’s “Midnight Madness” event at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, authorities said.

The participants’ goal: consume as many insects and worms as they could to take home a $850 python.

Archbold swallowed roach after roach, worm after worm. While the store didn’t say exactly how many Archbold consumed, the owner told CNN affiliate WPLG that he was “the life of the party.”

“He really made our night more fun,” Ben Siegel told the station.

Soon after the contest was over, Archbold fell ill and began to vomit, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

A friend called for medical help. Then, Archbold himself dialed 911, the store said in a Facebook post.

Eventually, he fell to the ground outside the store, the sheriff’s office said. An ambulance took him to North Broward Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Broward Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and are awaiting test results to determine the cause of his death.

No other contestant fell ill, the sheriff’s office said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Jones Visit to Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High Uneventful

DEARBORN — Controversial anti-Islam pastor Terry Jones of Stand Up America! billed Wednesday afternoon’s rally in front of Edsel Ford High School as a “Stand Up, Walk Out” protest of Muslim students allegedly bullying non-Muslim students.

No students walked out.

Jones said that he wanted to meet with Principal Scott Casebolt to discuss the issue, but Casebolt didn’t meet with him and Jones wasn’t allowed on school property, instead staying on sidewalks, per police order.

Jones also wanted to meet with students who were boarding buses behind the school, but was denied by police after walking on the sidewalk along Rotunda, then Pelham Road to the parking lot gate.

He also was denied the opportunity to carry a handgun. When an officer saw it as Jones was on a sidewalk in front of the school before the rally started, he made the Gainesville, Fla., resident return it to the car he parked in front of a house on Woodside Street, just east of Pelham.

The rally featuring Jones and his associate, Wayne Sapp, was scheduled to run from 1 to 4 p.m. They arrived at about 12:50 p.m. and left at about 2:20 p.m. after they were denied entrance into the back parking lot by police.

“This is about all we can do,” Jones said. “It’s all blocked off. We’ve done about all we can do for now.”

Officers escorted Jones and Sapp across Pelham to their car.

During the rally, about 10 people stood with Jones and Sapp in support of them in front of the school; a like number of protesters were kept about 25 yards away, behind barriers. They held signs and chanted things like “Stay away from our kids” and “Terry Jones go home.”

On his supporters’ signs were sayings like “Islam the new Nazism,” “Shariah law is evil,” “Islam is a bully” and “Don’t be a victim.” Continued…

1234See Full Story

Numerous Dearborn police officers, along with Wayne County sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police troopers, were on school and other nearby properties and patrolling along Rotunda and Pelham.

Students were told before classes dismissed at 2:15 p.m. that they would not be allowed to go to their lockers or use restrooms after the final hour ended, and they were to leave the school through the west doors facing the student parking lot. After-school activities on campus were canceled.

A few passing motorists hurled insults at Jones.

He said that Muslims need to obey and respect laws of communities, and “Islam is not a religion that tolerates any criticism.”

“It’s a free society,” Jones said.

He said that he’s been contacted by parents of Edsel Ford students about their children being bullied by Muslim students, including one who emailed him about an incident in May where their son, who is black, was suspended. She said that Arabic students called their son a racial slur several times and when he fought back, he was suspended but the Muslim students were not. The parent also wrote that their daughter, who is a middle-school cheerleader was harassed for showing too much skin while in uniform when her team visited Salina Intermediate School.

“That community is being favored,” Jones said. “Very little is being done when the occasions of bullying are taking place.”

Nicole Bruesch of Dearborn, whose daughter is an 11th-grader at Edsel Ford, came to the rally in support of Jones. She said that her daughter hasn’t been bullied, but others have, and that Muslim students act up in the lunchroom, push and shove in hallways and drive poorly — “almost like it is their school and they’re the only ones there.”

“I’m hoping that they listen, and they’ll listen to his point of view,” she said. “I think he has a right to speak.”

Bruesch added that her daughter was harassed by Muslim students at O.L. Smith Middle School, but Casebolt as principal there handled the problems well…

           — Hat tip: RE[Return to headlines]

Lance Armstrong at Center of Cycling’s Most Sophisticated Doping Program, Officials Charge

The United States Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday that Lance Armstrong was at the center of the most sophisticated and professional doping program in recent sports history and that it would soon release details of its findings.

The file, as described by the agency, would be the most most extensive, groundbreaking layout of Armstrong’s alleged doping, bolstered by unprecedented interviews, financial statements and laboratory results.

[Return to headlines]

Media to Declare Biden the Debate Winner

But don’t expect the major media to remind voters of Biden’s history of plagiarism. They are gearing up to declare him the winner of Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, no matter what happens.


Henry I. Miller has written in Forbes that Biden’s utterances “suggest some sort of dementia.” Biden, who will be 70 in November, “frequently has fumbled and bumbled in his public remarks,” says Miller.

Conservative writer Ben Hart says, “Biden raised eyebrows most recently when he insisted in a speech to a predominantly black audience that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are ‘gonna put y’all back in chains.’ But this is just the latest in an endless catalogue of bizarre statements by Joe Biden, who often doesn’t seem to know where he is or even what century he’s living in. Much of the time, he appears to be confused, addled.”

He adds, “One or two crazy statements here and there would not be so alarming. But Biden is now saying crazy things every time he speaks, every time he opens his mouth. I actually listened to Biden’s entire ‘y’all in chains’ speech, and very little of it made any sense at all.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Towson White Student Union to Begin Campus Anti-Crime Night Patrols

Towson, Maryland — In light of the recent sexual attack of a Towson University female student by four black males who surrounded her and began touching her body, members of the Towson White Student Union, armed with cell phones and cameras, will begin going on random night patrols on the campus of Towson University to deter such vile criminal attacks and to protect the safety and dignity of everyone.

Matthew Heimbach, the founder and president of the Towson WSU, said, “The freedom of the female students of Towson University has become threatened by roving bands of sex perverts who think nothing of attacking them. The WSU will take back the night.”

The WSU Night Patrols will call 911 to summon medical or police assistance if the circumstances require it. Also, as is noted on the website of the Maryland Bar Association, citizen’s arrests may be made by members of the WSU of criminal suspects.

Heimbach further added, “If a criminal suspect manages to escape justice, we will post any pictures that we take of them on our website so that members of the Towson University community will be able to participate in the process of identifying them. We will give all evidence that we collect to the Towson University Police Department so that the criminals may be prosecuted.”

The Towson White Student Union encourages Towson University students, regardless of their race, color, or creed, to participate in the night patrols. The purpose of the WSU night patrols is to create a safe campus for everyone.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy

Do we want to give up our wealth, weapons, the ability to defend ourselves, our economic freedom, our property, our country, our way of life, and sovereignty to the United Nations?


Smart meters had turned off the AC in the lobby of the four star hotel where I stayed. The wide-open doors did not help reduce the stifling hot atmosphere. Rooms were allowed AC with the door key. Fancy bathroom mirrors in the lobby had tiny television sets imbedded in the middle. I would have preferred air conditioning.


In order to change my ticket for another day, which normally would cost $150 in the United States, KLM charged me $674, the cost of almost another ticket. Most of the quoted price consisted of global and environmental taxes, including the transatlantic air tax which so far American airliners have refused to pay.


If Obama is re-elected, his second term will be dedicated to the focused de-development of the United States with the help of United Nations via global taxes and governance:

  • Billionaires Taxes (there are currently 1,600 billionaires across the globe, 400 in the U.S. alone)
  • How far of a stretch would it be to tax millionaires and then ordinary citizens when the revenue collected from billionaires is not enough?


A treaty to regulate the Internet will be signed in December 2012 in Dubai. Although the proceedings are held in secret, we do know that the United Nations will control the Internet, assigning IP addresses to people, requiring them to notify the host country of their IP addresses. United Nations will censor who uses the Internet, and will charge excessive fees to those individuals accessing websites outside of their countries, a form of taxation. We invented the Internet. Must we now relinquish it to the power and control of the United Nations?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

White Student Union Proposed at Towson University by Matthew Heimbach Sparks Controversy

A Towson University student has proposed a campus White Student Union, leaving administrators and the student government walking a fine line between students’ First Amendment rights and avoiding what many are calling outright racism at the Maryland university.

“Every ethnic group has its own advocacy group but white students don’t,” Matthew Heimbach, a senior studying U.S. history at Towson, told The Huffington Post.

Tensions were further inflamed last week when the group brought Jared Taylor to campus. Taylor is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “white nationalist” who has argued black hate crimes against whites exponentially outnumber white-on-black hate crimes. Taylor came to offer support for the proposed White Student Union, claiming it “a spectacular double standard that only whites are singled out and told they can’t have a race-based organization.”

In his presentation at Towson, Taylor reportedly explained why diversity is a problem, citing examples like race riots in prisons.

Heimbach is no stranger to controversy. He led a campus chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, an anti-multiculturalism right-wing group which lost its recognition by the Towson student government last spring when its faculty adviser resigned. Members of the YWC were accused of chalking “White Pride” around campus.

Heimbach said he thought forming the White Student Union would have broader appeal after the YWC fallout. He insisted the people who are most vocal in their opposition to a White Student Union are the same as those who hated the YWC and aren’t fans of college Republicans.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Country Shows Support After P.E.I. Mosque Threatened

A series of threats and acts of vandalism have targeted Island mosque

Support has poured in from people across the country after a Prince Edward Island mosque was targeted by disturbing acts of vandalism and arson. Worship at the Masjid Dar As-Salaam mosque is returning to normal after the latest in a series of unsettling threats that began last year during the mosque’s construction…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Jury Hears Husband’s 911 Call After Wife’s Throat Slit

‘Someone has been murdered in my house,’ accused tells operator in Hindi

The jury in a second-degree murder trial listened to the accused’s 911 emergency call on Tuesday, placed in broken English and Hindi, while his wife lay bleeding from a fatal knife attack four years ago in their west-end Toronto home. Peer Khairi, who stands accused of slashing his wife Randjida in the throat in March 2008, can be heard in the recording speaking with both a 911 dispatcher and a Hindi interpreter on the other line. “Can you ask this person if this person needs police, fire or ambulance and what the emergency is?” the operator asks the Hindi-speaking colleague. “Someone has been murdered in my house or place,” the translator tells the dispatcher. “Please call the police.” The call lasted nearly half an hour. But Khairi, who is 65, never clearly explains what happened in the phone conversation, despite the operator’s attempts to draw out details. “OK, who murdered his wife?” the operator asks, before the translator repeats the question to Khairi in Hindi.

Concern about Western lifestyle

“I can’t tell it over the phone. I’ll tell to the officer,” Khairi answers, according to the interpreter. Khairi has pleaded not guilty. The Crown plans to argue that Randjida Khairi, 53, was killed for opposing her husband, who objected to how his children were dressing and who they socialized with. The couple had been married for about three decades and their children were grown. But the Crown said it will contend that Khairi lost his temper, feeling that his family had strayed too far from their Afghan Muslim background…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Maritime Muslim Chaplain Calls Prison Cuts a ‘Fatwa’

One of three Muslim spiritual leaders who used to visit prisoners in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia says he’s upset the federal government will only pay for Christian spiritual leaders from now on. CBC News learned last week that the federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons. Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance. The cancellations will take effect by the end of March…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Belgian Police Arrest Seven Alleged Jihadists in Brussels

(AGI) — Brussels, Oct. 10 — Belgian police have arrested six suspected members of a terrorist cell tasked with “indoctrinating Brussels’ young Muslims”. In a statement issued today, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office clarified that the party of seven also includes a Belgian citizen. All other arrests targeted north Africans, among whom several Moroccan citizens.

The seven were arrested in six separate police raids in Brussels, which also led to the seizure of computers and electronic documents.

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

Bomb Parts Found in French Terror Probe

French police have uncovered bomb-making material during a probe into a group of Islamic extremists detained at the weekend for allegedly targeting Jews, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Describing the group as a serious threat, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the detention of the 12 suspects pending charges would be extended beyond the usual four-day maximum to at least a fifth day.

“We are clearly and objectively facing an extremely dangerous terrorist cell,” Molins said in a statement, adding that it was necessary to “avoid the risk of a terrorist attack in France”.

He said “components useful for bomb-making” had been found overnight during police searches of buildings in the eastern Paris suburb of Torcy, where two of the suspects were detained on Saturday.

Among the components found were bags of potassium nitrate, sulphur, saltpetre, pressure cookers and headlight bulbs, “all products or instruments useful in the making of what we call improvised explosives,” Molins said.

A shotgun and handgun were also found, he said.

The 12 suspects were detained at the weekend on suspicion of involvement in a grenade attack on a Jewish grocery store last month and of planning other anti-Semitic attacks.

The suspected leader of those detained, 33-year-old Jeremie Louis-Sidney, was shot dead Saturday after he opened fire on officers seeking to arrest him in a dawn raid at his home in Strasbourg.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Bono and Barroso Team Up

Bono, singer with Irish rock band U2 and co-founder of the ONE campaign Tuesday agreed to team up with Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso in promoting the Commission’s proposal for transparency and accountability from extractive industries. Barroso pledged to push for 20% more external aid in the next European budget.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EADS, BAE Call Off World’s Biggest Arms Merger

(Reuters) — EADS and BAE Systems called off the world’s largest defense and aviation merger on Wednesday, and pinned the blame on Germany for wrecking the $45 billion deal.

BAE said it had become clear that the interests of the French, British and German governments could not be reconciled with each other or with the objectives that BAE and EADS established for the merger.

“BAE Systems and EADS have therefore decided it is in the best interests of their companies and shareholders to terminate the discussions and to continue to focus on delivering their respective strategies,” BAE said in a statement.

Securing such an enormous and complicated cross-border deal in a sector where commercial considerations are typically trumped by political, economic and national security concerns was always going to be desperately difficult.

The companies had until 1600 GMT on Wednesday to declare their intentions and either scrap the merger, ask British regulators for more time or finalize their plans to create a group employing nearly a quarter of a million people that could better compete with U.S. rival Boeing.

When asked if he had encountered more problems with the German than the French government, BAE Chief Executive Ian King said: “That would be an accurate representation.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Committee Drafts Offshore Drilling Rules

no drilling without hazard report, emergency response plans

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 9 — The European Parliament’s Energy Committee on Tuesday endorsed a draft law designed to prevent accidents such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Under the bill, offshore oil and gas firms would have to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans before getting a license to drill. Licenses would be granted only if the firm could prove it has enough cash to remedy any environmental damage caused.

“Especially today, when many member states with no or little experience in oil and gas operations are looking into starting up drilling operations, a solid legislative framework is urgently needed,” said Belgian MEP Ivo Belet (European People’s Party), who drafted the Energy Committee resolution and will now lead negotiations with the European Council.

The draft passed by 48 votes to 7 with 1 abstention. The serving Cypriot presidency will push to get it before the European Parliament for a plenary vote before the end of the year. Approval of the new directive is a priority for Cyprus, which is oil prospecting in the eastern Mediterranean.

Under the new law, drilling companies would be required to submit special reports to the authorities, describing their rigs, potential major hazards and special arrangements to protect workers, including detailed internal emergency plans.

The draft also puts in place a stronger role for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in preventing accidents. The three European countries with the most offshore oil rigs are Great Britain (426), Holland (181) and Italy (123). The EU countries plus Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland have almost 1,000 offshore rigs between them. In Norway, the drills reach depths of 1,300 meters. Non-EU southern Mediterranean countries also engage in this kind of exploitation, which aims to delve into the Arctic as well.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Fiat CEO Calls Florence Mayor ‘Bad Copy of Obama’

Marchionne derides potential candidate for Italian premiership

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 10 — Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday called Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence and an Italian premier-hopeful, “a bad copy of Obama” and the head of a “small and poor city” after the mayor criticized him for his management of the automaker.

Marchionne was speaking at a closed-door meeting with students in Brussels. After the meeting he said his comments were not intended for the press. Renzi, who is campaigning to represent the center-left Democratic Party in spring elections, had criticized the Marchionne for closing plants in Italy, where the auto market has drastically shrunk amid the recession.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

France: Islamic Cell: Bombs Found

During search in Paris suburb. Prosecutors extend arrests

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, OCTOBER 10 — Pieces to build home-made bombs were found yesterday in Torcy, a banlieu of Paris, during searches in an ongoing investigation on an Islamic terror cell discovered last Saturday in France, state prosecutors said. The prosecutor’s office said the detention of suspects will be extended because the suspects are considered dangerous for the community.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

France: French Jews Face Unprecedented Wave of Anti-Semitic Attacks

In the wake of a raid on an Islamic terror cell, French police warn that more attacks on Jews are yet to come

French police who raided an Islamic terror cell over the weekend found documents showing the ring was planning new attacks against the Jewish community: 27,000 euros in cash, a list of Jewish organizations in the Paris area, ammunition, Islamist manuals and “extremely” anti-Semitic documents. Following the raid on the cell believed responsible for a recent grenade attack on a kosher supermarket in a Parisian suburb, police protection was increased for synagogues, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions. At a meeting with Jewish community leaders, President Francois Hollande promised to give top priority to the evidently growing threat against Jewish targets by Islamic militants. In the raid, police killed the group’s leader, Jeremie Louis-Sidney, a 33-year- old Salafist neophyte, and arrested a dozen members. But authorities say that even after the raid, there are still several similar anti-Semitic cells across the country. According to a former head of French Intelligen ce Services, between 100 and 200 extreme Islamic militants are potential terrorists.

“Several other similar groups are being watched. There’s a real threat. Radical Islamism … thrives on fantasies, on hatred towards our country and towards French Jews,” said Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who warned that these small local cells are even harder to fight than international jihadist movements. “It’s all the more difficult to battle against these groups when they’re local. They’re not foreign terror networks that come from outside, but networks that have grown in our country, our neighborhoods. They’re not foreigners but French converts, French Muslims,” said Valls…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Bomb-Making Material Found in Paris Suburbs

French anti-terrorist police have found bomb-making materials and weapons in the suburbs of Paris while investigating suspected radical Islamists across the country.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said a dozen suspects rounded up in raids over the weekend would be held for a further 24 hours after the discovery of chemicals used to make explosives at a garage in the Paris suburbs belonging to one of them. “We are clearly confronted with an extremely dangerous terror network,” Molins said in a statement to the media. “It is essential to extend their stay in custody.” Investigators searched garages in the town of Torcy, near Paris, overnight after an anti-terrori st raid on Saturday ended with police shooting dead an Islamist su spect linked to a g renade attack las t month on a Jewish supermarket and arresting 11 others. Molins said a shotgun, a revolver, bags of potassium nitrate, sulphur and a pressure cooker were discovered at a garage used by the suspect, a t whose home police on Saturday had found a list of Jewish groups in the Paris area. “These are all products used to make what we call improvised explosives,” he said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Twelve Suspected Members of French Islamist Cell Linked to Jewish Shop Attack in Detention

The suspected leader of the cell, linked to the September attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris, was shot dead by police on Saturday.

Twelve suspected members of a French Islamist cell linked to a grenade attack on a Jewish shop in Paris and suspected of planning further attacks were still in custody Monday, two days after their arrest. The anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office in Paris confirmed to dpa that a twelfth suspect of the so-called Cannes Group had been arrested Saturday evening in Torcy, about 30 kilometers east of Paris. Of the 12 suspects, around half were arrested in the southern city of Cannes. They can be held for up to 96 hours without charge. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Saturday they faced charges of conspiring to commit terrorist acts…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: French Police Find Explosives in Islamist Probe

(Reuters) — French anti-terrorist police have found bomb-making materials and weapons while investigating suspected radical Islamists across the country, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said on Wednesday. Molins said a dozen suspects rounded up in raids over the weekend would be held for a further 24 hours after the discovery of chemicals used to make explosives at a garage in the Paris suburbs belonging to one of them. “We are clearly confronted with an extremely dangerous terror network,” Molins said in a statement to the media. “It is essential to extend their stay in custody.” Molins said a shotgun, a revolver, bags of potassium nitrate, sulphur and a pressure cooker were discovered at a garage used by the suspect, at whose home police on Saturday had found a list of Jewish groups in the Paris area.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France Uncovers ‘Extremely Dangerous Terrorist Cell’

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor has given details of 11 arrests made over the weekend of suspected members of a terrorist cell. He said police found implements for making explosive devices.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Francois Molins said the men represented “an extremely dangerous terrorist cell.” For that reason, their detention had been extended to five days to give police more time to investigate. Normally under French law, terror suspects can only be held for 96 hours before facing charges or being released.

In a weekend raid in Torcy, east of Paris, police discovered chemicals and other materials “used in the making of improvised explosive devices.” Other raids were conducted near Cannes and Strasbourg.

Eleven arrests were made in total. The man thought to be the leader of the organization, Jeremie Louis-Sidney, was killed in a shootout with police in Strasbourg.

The raids are in connection with a grenade attack last month that took place at a Jewish grocery store. The group of men arrested is suspected of plotting to carry out more attacks against France’s Jewish population.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Frenchwoman Rings Up Trillion Euro Phone Bill

A Frenchwoman who received a telephone bill for an amount equivalent to nearly 6,000 times the country’s annual economic output has had the real amount she owed waived — after finally convincing the company they must have made a mistake.

Solenne San Jose, from Pessac in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France, could not believe her eyes when she opened the bill to discover she was being asked to pay €11,721,000,000,000,000 to close her account.

“There were so many zeroes I couldn’t even work out how much it was,” she said.

San Jose’s alarm mounted when operators at Bouygues Telecom told her they could not amend the computer-generated statement or stop the balance from being debited from her bank account.

Only after a series of frantic calls did the company finally admit the bill should have been for €117.21.

Bouygues Telecom told AFP the mix-up had been due to a printing error and a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call centre.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Gang-Rape Trial Shocks France and Sparks Row Over Justice System

Two girls say they were raped almost daily by large groups of men in run-down estates outside Paris

A harrowing trial over the alleged gang rape of teenage girls in the high-rise tower blocks of a poor Paris suburb has shocked France, exposed a culture of youth violence and threatens to spark a row over the justice system when verdicts are delivered this week.

Nina and Stephanie — not their real names — said that for years they were too scared to speak out about what they allege were months of almost daily gang rapes when they were 15 and 16, growing up on rundown estates in Fontenay-sous-Bois outside Paris. In 2005, Nina was left unconscious by one final brutal beating following years of abuse and told a female police officer. What followed was a trial that has shaken the country as it struggles to deal with a spate of gang rapes of teenage girls by youths on estates across France.

The alleged Fontenay-sous-Bois attacks took place between 1999 and 2001. Nina, now 29, told the newspaper Libération she had moved to the housing estate aged seven with her mother and brother after a divorce. She was described as good at school and a tomboy. One night returning from the cinema, aged 16 and a virgin, she said, she was grabbed by a local group of youths, taken to basement cellars in the flats, raped and subjected to a series of brutal sex attacks by scores of local boys. The extremely violent, prolonged attacks by large groups of boys continued daily, in car parks, stairwells, apartments, cellars and the empty playground of a local nursery school. She said there would be “at least 25” youths present during attacks in which she screamed, protested, cried and vomited. One witness described 50 boys “queuing” to attack her.

Told that her flat would be burned down if she spoke out, she was afraid to tell her mother, who noticed she was washing eight to 10 times a day…

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

German Film Denounces Aid as ‘Sweet Poison’

“Sweet Poison” is a German documentary that looks at three development aid projects in Africa that went badly wrong. The film’s director proposes a drastic remedy.

This film is likely to vex many people in Germany. Sweet Poison (original title: Süsses Gift) takes aim at western government-funded development aid. It doesn’t do this in a sweeping, frontal attack on the abuses or excesses of development aid but rather by letting people in developing countries tell their own stories.

This has quite a different impact and achieves a higher level of credibility Peter Heller has been making documentaries for 40 years. He has made 30 films in Africa alone, about topics such as colonialism and the continent’s social problems.

Why have an estimated $600 billion (463 billion euros) not produced visible progress in Africa’s development? African development aid workers, intellectuals, political activists and entrepreneurs all try to answer this in the film. “Development aid spreads a sort of lethargy,” says one African journalist. International aid is damaging and very dangerous. It ruins motivation. Foreign aid does not encourage you to help yourself. As one African cotton exporter said “50 years after independence, the time has come for African states to shoulder responsibility themselves rather waiting for outside help.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Giant Defence Merger Fails Over German Demands

European aerospace giant EADS and British security firm BAE Systems on Wednesday called off the world’s largest defence and aviation merger, blaming Germany for blowing the deal, Reuters reports. Berlin wanted parity with France in the shareholding of the new group, plus putting some company headquarters in Munich.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt ‘To Reclaim Some Regional Powers’

Energy, ports and airports to return, not schools or healthcare

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — The Italian government is set to reclaim a number of powers from the regions in response to a rash of scandals in regional spending.

A draft reform of the Italian Constitution to be examined by Premier Mario Monti’s cabinet Tuesday, of which ANSA obtained a copy, would bring energy, airports and ports back under central control.

Education and healthcare would remain as they are, split between central and regional control, the draft bill says.

Regional balance sheets would be subject to the control of the Audit Court. This year has seen scandals involving the alleged misuse of public funds in several regions including Lazio, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Campania, Molise, Calabria and Sicily.

Lazio Governor Renata Polverini of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party stepped down after the PdL caucus leader in the regional assembly, Franco Fiorito, was arrested for alleged embezzlement.

Monti said the scandals had left the Italian people “stunned and indignant” and dented Italy’s image and credibility. Any change to the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and usually takes a long time.

If that majority is not met, it is put to a referendum.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: PDL Regional Councillor Arrested Over Mafia Links

Zambetti accused of buying votes from ‘ndrangheta

(ANSA) — Milan, October 10 — Domenico Zambetti, an executive councillor in the Lombardy regional government, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly buying votes from the ‘ndrangheta mafia syndicate.

Zambetti, a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, is accused of paying two mobsters 200,000 euros for 4,000 votes (at 50 euros each) in the 2010 elections for the assembly of region around Italy’s business capital Milan. His arrest takes the number of councillors in the Lombardy regional executive and assembly who are under investigation up to 13. They include Governor Roberto Formigoni of the PdL who is accused of corruption related to health contracts.

Wednesday’s development is the latest in a string of corruption scandals that have hit various parts of Italy’s political spectrum in recent months. The PdL was already in turmoil over the case of its former caucus chief in Lazio, Franco Fiorito, who was arrested last week on suspicion of embezzling public money. That caused caused Renata Poverini to resign as governor of Lazio last month.

Experts say the scandals have strengthened widespread public disaffection with the nation’s political class and contributed to the rise of comedian Beppe Grillo’s grassroots Five Star movement, which is opposed to the present party system.

The Five Star movement is vying with the PdL for second place in the polls, according to several recent surveys.

The ‘ndrangheta is a powerful Calabria-based organized crime syndicate that has laid down roots in other parts of Italy, especially wealthier northern regions, in recent years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Lazio Caucus Head of Anti-Graft IDV Party Probed

Prosecutors suspected Maruccio embezzled 500,000 euros

(see related story on corruption scandals) (ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — Vincenzo Salvatore Maruccio, the caucus head in Lazio for the anti-graft Italy of Values (IdV) party, has been put under investigation for allegedly embezzling half a million euros of public money, judicial sources said Wednesday.

Investigators suspect Maruccio diverted public money intended to finance his party’s activities in the region around Lazio into bank accounts in his own name.

Franco Fiorito, the former caucus chief in Lazio of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, is in prison after being arrested last week on suspicion of embezzling over one million eyros of public money. The case caused Renata Poverini to resign as governor of Lazio last month.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Lombardy Case Shows Democracy Violated, Says Prosecutor

Arrested councillor Zambetti was ‘asset’ for ‘Ndrangheta

(see related story) (ANSA) — Milan, October 10 — The arrest of Lombardy executive regional councillor Domenico Zambetti shows organized crime gangs are capable of violating democracy, Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said Wednesday. Zambetti, a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, is accused of paying ‘Ndrangheta mobsters 200,000 euros for 4,000 votes (at 50 euros each) in the 2010 elections for the assembly of the region around Italy’s business capital Milan.

Boccassini said the investigation, which led to 20 arrests on Wednesday including Zambetti’s, had showed ‘Ndrangheta’s ability to affect “the democracy of the country and the freedom to vote”. She said the probe had also uncovered evidence that the powerful syndicate, which is originally from the southern region of Calabria but has spread to wealthier northern regions in recent years, contaminated the vote for Milan’s city council last year.

Boccassini said Zambetti became an “asset for the mafia organization and it demanded favours from him”. An alleged example of this was the fact that Zambetti had the daughter of an alleged Ndrangheta’ boss, Eugenio Costantino, hired by a regional agency. Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni said via Twitter that he had relieved Zambetti of his duties because of the gravity of the allegations.

Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia said Formigoni, who is being probed as part of a corruption investigation into health-sector contracts, should quit in the light of Zambetti’s arrest.

“After this latest development, it’s not possible to go on like this,” Pisapia said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Kidnapped Swiss Man Beaten in France

Basel police are collaborating with French authorities in a bid to track down three men who abducted, beat up and robbed a 33-year-old Swiss man.

He was hospitalized in Alsace, France for treatment of injuries after being attacked by the men on Monday morning, city police said.

The victim told police he encountered a man in the Rhylounge restaurant in Basel earlier that day whom he later recognized behind the wheel of a car parked on a street in the Kleinbasel part of the city, on the right bank of the River Rhine.

The motorist asked the victim for information on how to get to France.

The Swiss man gave directions before the driver offered to give him a lift to the train station.

When the victim got in the car he was hit on the head from behind and lost consciousness, police said.

He regained consciousness at an undisclosed location in the Alsace region, where he was “abused” on a dirt road by the driver and two other men before being robbed.

The culprits fled in an unknown direction, police said.

The victim was later found by passers-by and taken by ambulance to hospital.

He told police his attackers were North Africans who spoke French and Arabic.

The men, he said, were driving a blue or green Peugeot 206 or 306 with French licence plates and tinted rear windows.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway Expels Sudanese Diplomat

Norway on Tuesday expelled a Sudanese diplomat posted in Oslo after Khartoum’s embassy here was implicated in spying on Sudanese refugees in the Scandinavian country.

“Today we summoned the charge d’affaires of the embassy,” Norwegian foreign affairs ministry spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen told AFP on Tuesday.

“We informed him that their diplomat’s activity was incompatible with his diplomatic status and so we asked that he leave Norway,” Elsebutangen said, specifying that he leave “quickly.”

Norway’s intelligence agency PST on Tuesday announced the arrest of a 38-year-old Sudanese man suspected of covertly gathering information on Sudanese refugees in Norway and transmitting it to someone at the Oslo embassy.

They did not specify the nature of the information gathered.

A spokesman for the embassy could not be immediately reached for comment.

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

Spanish Parliament Blocks Catalonia Independence Vote

MPs in the Spanish parliament Tuesday blocked the northern Catalonia region from holding a referendum on independence. The motion by the Catalan Nationalist Party, Ezquerra Republicana, was voted down by the ruling conservatives, opposition Socialists and center-right UPyD party. More than half of Catalans say they want a separate state.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Talks to Form World’s Biggest Aircraft Firm Stall

European Airbus owner EADS and British aircraft manufacturer BAE Systems have called off a planned merger that would have led to the formation of the world’s biggest defense and aerospace group.

Talks on the proposed $45-billion (35-billion-euro) deal collapsed on Wednesday after the governments of Britain, France and Germany were unable to agree terms.

BAE said in a statement that it had not been possible to reach an accord on several issues, including the proportion of shares that the French and German firm should own and where the new organization’s headquarters should be based.

“BAE Systems and EADS have therefore decided it is in the best interests of their companies and shareholders to terminate the discussions and to continue to focus on delivering their respective strategies,” it said.

EADS chief executive Tom Enders expressed disappointment on behalf of the Franco-German-led group. “It is, of course, a pity we didn’t succeed but I’m glad we tried,” Enders said in a joint statement by the firms.

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere rejected suggestions that the merger had failed because of opposition in Berlin, with the German government fearing a loss of control. “I have noted this opinion. I don’t share it,” said de Maiziere.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkey-EU: Europe Wants Stalled Negotiations to Resume

We have common interests, Enlargement Commissioner Fule says

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 10 — EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule expressed hope that Turkey’s accession talks would be revived after the European Commission’s progress report was released on Wednesday.

“Turkey is a key country for the EU, we have common interests. The European Commission recommends that the negotiations be resumed,” Fule said. In May, the commissioner was in Ankara as Turkey and the EU officially launched a “positive agenda” to put the accession negotiations back on track after years of stagnation.

Turkey and the EU formally began accession negotiations in 2005, but these stalled on Turkey’s refusal to recognize Cyprus.

In June, the Turkish foreign ministry announced Turkey will not attend any event presided over by Cyprus, which assumed the European Union presidency a month later.

Another stumbling block was stiff opposition from some member states, including France, with former President Nicolas Sarkozy recommending privileged partnership in lieu of full EU membership. The change of administration in France has not brought a change of policy with it.

“The keys to unblocking the situation are in the hands of both Turkey and the EU. The member states must reflect,” said Fule. In its report on enlargement, the European Commission expressed concerns on Turkey’s human rights record, beginning with the widespread use of anti-terrorism and organized crime laws. “These lead to violations of the right to liberty and security, the right to fair trial and freedom of expression, of assembly and association,” the report said.

Also on Wednesday, Fule rejected Turkish allegations that the EU is slack on anti-terrorism cooperation. “We have taken steps forward on this issue, and we are working with the member states,” the commissioner said. “Our cooperation has improved and we have concrete proposals to make: let us now go beyond words.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Two Arrested at Heathrow for Terrorist Activities in Syria

(AGI) London, Oct 10 — British police arrested two people at Heathrow Airport in relation to suspected terror activities in Syria. The two, a man and a woman, both 26 years old, were arrested shortly after landing in London on a flight from Egypt. Police did not make clear whether the suspects were thought to be returning from or heading to Syria, having made a stopover in Egypt. Nor did they release their nationalities (except for the fact that they are not Egyptians). Scotland Yard said it had raided two houses in London. Foreign Secretary, William Hague, declined to go into details, but he reminded UK citizens not to travel to Syria and to leave they were still in the country. “There is some evidence there are people [here who want to join the fighting]. We would strongly advise them not to do so.”.

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

UK: ‘Congo Fever’ Victim Laid to Rest in Glasgow Central Mosque Service

Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a “hard-working and helpful” man who died in the UK’s first case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Fazal Ahmad, an Afghan national and former asylum seeker who moved to Glasgow several years ago before setting up his own business, died in hospital on Saturday, two days after laboratory tests confirmed he had the tropical disease. He returned to Glasgow from Afghanistan last Tuesday, via a connecting flight from Dubai, and was initially treated in isolation at Gartnavel General Hospital’s Brownlee Centre, which specialises in infectious disease. The 38-year-old mechanic was transferred to a high-security infectious disease unit at London’s Royal Free Hospital, where he succumbed to the illness. The body of Mr Ahmad, who had been in Afghanistan’s Samangan province to attend his brother’s wedding, was brought back to Glasgow ahead of his funeral on Tuesday. About 200 mourners attended the city’s Central Mosque to pay their respects and recite the Salat al-Janazah, the traditional Islamic funeral prayer asking forgiveness for the deceased…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Locking Up Killers and Rapists for Life Without Prospect of Release is Not Appropriate’, Court of Appeal Told

Locking up killers and rapists and throwing away the key with no hope of release was too harsh a penalty, Appeal Court judges were told today.

Even some of those who have committed ‘horrendous’ crimes should be given hope of possible release in the future , it was argued.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Disabled Boy, 18, Allowed to Fall to His Death Because Health and Safety Fears Meant Carers Could Not Restrain Him

A disabled boy fell to his death because care home workers were too afraid to restrain him over ‘health and safety’ fears.

James Dean Brotherhood, 18, had brain damage and was susceptible to blood clots following treatment for a brain tumour, which was removed when he was eight.

But despite his medical history and the evident danger, carers at a specialist unit stood by and watched as James pulled himself up onto a windowsill with his wheelchair still strapped to his back.

The teenager fell and hit his head — and within hours was dead. His family have now received a four-figure payout.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Islamic Extremist Group in Cardiff Tried to Radicalise Young Muslim

A group of Islamic extremists in Cardiff has been involved in trying to radicalise a young Muslim, a BBC Wales investigation has revealed.

For months, an undercover reporter for the Week In Week Out programme has been meeting with a member of a group called Supporters of Tawheed. A man called Rofi attempted to radicalise the undercover reporter by directing him to extremist websites and videos that preach hate. He denied radicalising the reporter. The reporter said: “Going undercover has opened my eyes to their world and how dangerous it could be. It’s only when someone starts trying to radicalise you that you realise what it could lead to. And what really scares me is how they are influencing others with that hatred and disaffection.”

The programme spoke to Alex Meleagrou-Hitchins, an expert in radicalisation from Kings College in London, and discusses the process the undercover reporter went through in his meetings with Rofi. “This is a very clear cut radicalisation and recruitment case,” said Mr Meleagrou-Hitchens. Cardiff has been shocked by a number of incidents in the last 12 months involving Islamic extremists. In October 2011, two teenagers were arrested by Kenyan police near the border with Somalia. It is alleged they were trying to fight with Islamic militants, al-Shabab. Then in January this year, anti-extremism police disrupted a meeting of Supporters of Tawheed at a Cardiff community centre…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Julian Assange Dines With Lady Gaga, Who Was Dressed as a Witch — This is Getting Rather Weird

by David Hughes

Spare a thought this morning for the nine supporters of Julian Assange who have been ordered to hand over the £93,500 in sureties they posted for the WikiLeaks founder because he has broken the terms of his bail by holing up in the Ecuador embassy. Other supporters, including Jemima Khan and Ken Loach, have already forfeited £200,000 in bail money. Mr Assange is proving a high-maintenance friend.

The latest court decision coincided with the moment that their hero’s battle with the forces of evil — or the Swedish legal authorities as they are more commonly known — turned from farce to freak show. Assange dined at the embassy with Lady Gaga last night. She popped in, dressed as a witch, after launching her new perfume brand at Harrods, which is just across the street. She did so, it appears, after being invited — on Twitter, naturally — by the Hounslow-born rapper MIA who tweeted Lady Gaga: “if ur at harrods today , come visit Assange at the Ecuador embassy across the st. im there. ill bring TEA and CAKE.” Positively surreal. Assange is wanted for questioning by the Swedes over rape allegations.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: My Sister’s Cervical Cancer Was Misdiagnosed 30 Times: Mother-of-Four Wrongly Told She Was Suffering From Anxiety

WARNING: Contains distressing scenes (Although harrowing, Jeannine Harvey’s family wanted these images published)

A mother-of-four died from cervical cancer after doctors misdiagnosed her malignant tumour 30 times in six months, her devastated family have claimed.

Relatives of Jeannine Harvey, 33, were driven to filming her screams of agony when she was eventually admitted to hospital.

The aim of the video, taken just a few weeks before she died, was to prove how ill she had been all along. Scroll down for video.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Newcastle United’s Muslim Players Told Wearing Wonga-Sponsored Shirts Infringes Sharia Law

Newcastle United’s Muslim players have been warned that wearing the club’s shirt with the logo of new sponsors Wonga on the front could infringe Sharia law.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) intervention is the latest batch of criticism the club has received since signing a four-year £24 million sponsorship deal with the short-term loan company on Tuesday that will also see the club’s ground revert to its long-standing title of St James’ Park. There is nothing illegal about Wonga’s enterprise, but the firm’s charge of 4,214 per cent APR on its internet-based payday loans has been criticised by local MPs, consumer groups and trade unions.

Newcastle’s starting eleven against Manchester United contained four practising Muslims, Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé, Cheick Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa. Under Sharia law, a Muslim is not allowed to benefit from lending or receiving money from someone, which means that earning interest is not allowed. Muslims comply by interest not being paid on Islamic savings, current accounts or Islamic mortgages. Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the MCB, said: “There are two aspects to this. We have the rulings of the religious law and we have the individual’s choice and decision on how they want to follow or not follow that rule. The idea is to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful. When they are lending and are charging large amounts of interest, it means the poor will have short-term benefit from the loan but long-term difficulty in paying it back because the rate of interest is not something they can keep up with. The Islamic system is based on a non-interest-based system of transaction.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Rotherham Locals Plan Unity Demo Against Racist EDL

Rotherham will unite on Saturday to see off the racist English Defence League, who plan to march through the town. Trade unions, anti-fascists and faith groups came together at a packed public meeting on Monday to plan the town’s peaceful counter-protest. And it is rumoured that Rotherham United will play their Saturday home game on a weekday to head off potential trouble. The EDL’s march route ends 50 yards from a mosque, which locals see as a blatant provocation…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Stop the Extradition of Babar and Talha: Muslim Council of Britain Writes to President Barack Obama

After the decision to extradite Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, the Muslim Council of Britain has written to President Barack Obama to appeal to him and stop the extradition.


Mr President,

We write to you as citizens of your closest ally, the United Kingdom. Last year, you eloquently spoke in our Parliament about the idea “that all human beings are endowed with certain rights that cannot be denied.” These are the values that bind our two countries together and are the source of much influence for both the United States and the United Kingdom. In your speech, you rightly stated that “being American or British is not about belonging to a certain group; it’s about believing in a certain set of ideals — the rights of individuals and the rule of law.”

Regretfully, we write to you now because those values are threatened as your government persists in seeking the extradition of a number of young British citizens including Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan. A significant portion of the British public are concerned about British citizens facing trial under a legal system other than that of their own country. The concern led to a recent debate within our Parliament in which Members unanimously voted to review the current extradition laws in order to protect British citizens. It is true that the UK has entered into a treaty with the US and that she should honour her obligations. However, human rights and legal principles also create obligations which trump those specific obligations created within treaties and must assist in interpreting treaty clauses.

A number of serious violations to Babar and Talha’s human rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are being made through these extraditions. It is clearly evident how a number of these rights are being violated. Babar and Talha are being denied the basic right to liberty and have been denied this right for a number of years. By having their liberty denied, without them being provided the evidence against them, it is clear that they are being treated as guilty with such a serious violation being made. I n the UK, the right to liberty is generally seen as an extremely important right and detention generally is to be justified with evidence at all stages. Babar and Talha’s rights to family are being violated not only through detention but also through being moved to another country, again without a fair hearing in which the evidence against them is made clear…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Terror Police Hold British Man and Woman at Heathrow on Suspicion of Kidnapping British Photographer in Syria

Two Britons arrested at Heathrow Airport over terrorism allegations will be questioned about the kidnapping of a British photographer in Syria.

The man and woman, both 26, were held at 8.30pm yesterday after arriving in the UK on a flight from Egypt.

They were arrested on suspicion of travelling to Syria to support terrorist activities.

Scotland Yard has since confirmed that one line of inquiry is whether the pair were involved in the abduction of British photographer John Cantlie and his Dutch colleague Jeroen Oerlemans, who were held captive for a week in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

Former hostage Mr Cantlie has said that one of his captors in Syria had claimed to be an NHS doctor.

He previously told the Daily Mail that the ‘doctor’ had a south London accent and used saline drips with NHS logos on them.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Why I Won’t be Shopping at M&S Any More…

by James Delingpole

Suppose an alliance of green activists and corporate fat cats were to write to the Chancellor with the following demands:

“We the undersigned feel very strongly that British consumers should pay more for their energy bills and give us more money — lots more money — for something they don’t want and they don’t need. Basically what we’re after is Danegeld — you know, money to make us shut up and go away, at least for a few months, after which of course we’ll come back and ask for even more. Oh, and we don’t give a stuff what damage this does to the economy. Or the number of jobs it will kill. Or the destruction it will wreak on the countryside as a result of all the bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes we want to build. But just to give our rapacious cynicism a veneer of respectability and plausibility, here’s a junk-economics report from a business-friendly-sounding organisation — the Confederation of Business Industry — claiming that if you stop paying us our Danegeld the economy will somehow suffer and jobs will be lost.”

He’d laugh and chuck it in the bin, right?


[JP note: Ditto demands by Islamic supremacists for dhimmi poll tax — chuck ‘em in the bin.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Work to Begin on Watling Street Road Mosque

Controversial plans to build a multi-million pound mosque in Preston are set to get under way soon. The plans to build the mosque on Watling Street Road, Fulwood, have been on the table since 2008. The mosque was accepted by the council before being thrown out, but trustees of the organisation applying for planning permission appealed the decision and were granted permission in July 2011. The council had refused the plans due to traffic concerns and the size of the mosque having a detrimental impact on the Ful wood Conservation area.

However planning inspectors found the mosque would respect the appearance of the Conservation Area and not pose any danger to highway or pedestrian safety. Faisel Mansoor, trustee of the Preston Muslim Society Masjid-E-Salaam, said: “Our members are overjoyed and relived now that the works have started to build a new purpose mosque.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia Advance on EU Accession

The European Commission has recommended that EU countries should grant EU candidate status to Albania and start accession talks with Macedonia, subject to conditions. It added in a legal analysis that the EU and Kosovo can sign legal treaties despite Kosovo’s non-recognition by some EU states.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Serb Leader Bashes EU Ahead of Key Report

Srebrenica was not genocide and Serbia will not bow to demands for Kosovo recognition, Serbia’s leader has said on the eve of a key EU report.

The Balkan country’s head of state, Tomislav Nikolic, a former confidante of Serbia’s notorious war-time leader Slobodan Milosevic, made the remarks in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Seraon Tuesday (9 October).

“Genocide did not take place in Srebrenica. This is about individual guilt of members of the Serb people. … No Serb recognizes that genocide took place in Srebrenica and I am no different,” he said.

“In case it is necessary to renounce Kosovo, then it’s more acceptable for us to forget about Europe … Now a recognition of Kosovo and Metohija is being made a condition (for EU membership). The question is not whether we want Europe. The real question is whether they want us,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Libya Embassy Security Lessened Before Stevens Murder

(AGI) Washington- Security for US embassies in Libya was lessened before ambassador Chris Stevens was killed on September 11. Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, former head of security for diplomatic staff, stated as much in a prepared testimony for Congress. “The security in Benghazi was a struggle and remained a struggle throughout my time there,” he said. Wood led security for American diplomats in Libya from February 12 to August 14, little more than a month before Stevens and three other US citizens were killed in the Benghazi embassy.

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

U.S. Embassy in Libya Sought $13,000-Per-Year Bodyguards With ‘Limited’ English; But Gave Preference to Citizen ‘Same-Sex Domestic Partners’ Of U.S. Gov’t Employees

( — In the months leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the U.S. Embassy in Libya was seeking to hire two bodyguards with “limited” English language skills at salaries of about $13,000 per year.

Job descriptions for these openings that the U.S. Embassy in Libya posted online said the State Department would give preference in filling them to qualified U.S. citizens who were family members of U.S. government employees.

The job descriptions explicitly stated that this included the “same-sex domestic partners” of U.S. government employees.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Benjamin Netanyahu Calls Early Israel Elections

Benjamin Netanyahu has called elections for Israel, some nine months ahead of schedule.

With his coalition at loggerheads over a new budget, the Israeli prime minister answered weeks of intense speculation on Tuesday evening when, in a televised press conference, he called for government to be dissolved in order to prepare for early elections. Given his government has been unable to agree a national budget, Mr Netanyahu announced: “I have therefore decided, for the benefit of Israel, to hold elections now and as quickly as possible.” The vote could is likely to be held in late January or early February next year…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Imperfect Prize, Perfect Winner [Adorno Prize 2012]

by Geoffrey Alderman

I have been thoroughly bemused by the international furore surrounding the decision of the municipality of Frankfurt-am-Main to award a 50,000 euro prize to Dr Judith Butler, an academic who teaches critical theory at Berkeley, California. The prize, which is awarded every three years, was instituted in 1977 in memory of the sociologist Theodor Adorno, who was born in Frankfurt, taught there before being hounded out by the Nazis (his mother was Catholic but his father, though a Protestant, was born Jewish), and returned there after the war. This year’s recipient of the Adorno Prize, Dr Butler, was born into a Jewish household in Cleveland, and is a member of a synagogue in California.

The “machlokes” may be summarised thus: Adorno was a victim of the crudest racial ideology and prejudice. How dare the fathers and mothers of Frankfurt make an award in his memory to someone (Butler) who has (it is argued) identified herself as an enemy of Israel, the Jewish state. It’s true that Butler’s record on Israel is depressingly hostile. Transiting Israel in 2010 (en route to lecture in the Palestinian territories), she famously chose not to visit any Israeli university. “One can only go to an Israeli institution, or an Israeli cultural event,” she told Ha’aretz, “in order to use the occasion to call attention to the brutality and injustice of the occupation and to articulate an opposition to it.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

CIA’s Free Syria Army Vows to Carry Out Attacks in Lebanon

The Free Syrian Army, the “rebel” mercenary group supported and trained by the CIA and MI6, has vowed to expand operations into Lebanon and attack Hezbollah, the paramilitary and political organization established in 1982 to resist the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

On Tuesday, Fahd al-Masri, who is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army Joint Command, told the London-based daily newspaper Ash-Sharq-al-Awsat that the FSA will expand the proxy war in Syria to “the heart” of Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold.

The FSA claims to hold 13 members of Hezbollah captive in the Syrian city of Homs. In August, the United States accused Hezbollah of “deep involvement” in the al-Assad regime attempt to combat FSA attacks inside the country.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Gulf: Abuse of Asian Domestic Workers a Habit

Filipino, Nepalese gov’t sign accords for their protection

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, OCTOBER 10 — Filipino and Nepalese maids are in great demand in the Gulf oil monarchies, but this is where they also suffer a range of abuses, from psychological and sexual exploitation to passport seizures, to being forced to work without rest for inadequate pay. Authorities from Nepal, which registered 82 domestic worker suicides in the Gulf in the past 18 months, and the Philippines, the country with the highest number of domestic workers in the region, are working to set up legislation to protect their citizens abroad.

The Filipino government reached an agreement with Saudi authorities on a minimum wage of 310 euros a month plus room and board, to be deposited in a bank so that employers can be monitored, and has raised the minimum age for a domestic worker going abroad to 23. A similar agreement is being negotiated with the United Arab Emirates, where the Filipino labor attache’ is compiling a list of employment agencies with the worst abuse records. Also on the table with Gulf and Middle Eastern countries is an obligatory contract clause allowing domestic workers to go home in cases of political instability. This is because of the numberless Filipino and other Asian maids left behind with orders to “guard” property in war-torn areas of Lebanon, Bahrain and Syria, while their employers fled to safety.

Nepal, which in 2010 lifted a 12-year ban on its women working as housemaids in the Gulf, last week imposed a minimum age of 30 for women domestic workers hired in the region.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Iran Warns Israel to Lose 10,000 Troops

TEHRAN — A senior Iranian official said that Israel would lose at least 10,000 troops in the event of a military strike on the Islamic republic, Press TV reported on Sunday. “If the Israelis attack, Iran’s deterrent power would deal a mortal blow to them and the Israeli death toll would not be less than 10,000. Therefore, they would be stopped soon,” Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, was quoted as saying. “We don’t want war, but are fully prepared to defend our country against any strike. Of course the Zionists don’t dare to invade Iran and only speak of war to win concessions from the next U.S. president,” said Rezaei, a former chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

NATO Has ‘Plans in Place’ To Back Turkey in Syrian War

NATO said today it had “all necessary plans in place” to come to Turkey’s assistance if crossfire over the Syrian border escalates into war. But the US-led military alliance urged both governments to “show restraint” as the conflict becomes more explosive. Turkey has repeatedly fired into Syria over the past week in retaliation for stray army shelling that has hit its territory almost daily, most lethally last Wednesday when two women and three children were killed in the town of Akcakale near the border. Damascus denies having intentionally targeted Turkey and most observers believe its army was targeting rebel forces near the border…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sexual Slavery a 10 Mln Trade in Turkish Occupied Cyprus

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 10 — An estimated 500 young women mostly from Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova and Japan are currently in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus for the purpose of sexual slavery. The illegal sex trade, which is thought to net over 10 million euros annually, is concentrated at night clubs on the main road between occupied Nicosia and Morfou. According to Turkish daily Milliyet’s correspondent in Nicosia the “government” turns a blind eye to this situation. The paper — as today the Greek-Cypriot daily Famagusta Gazette reports — claims that 504 are employed in 42 night clubs, with the majority of these women “acting as prostitutes or is forced to do so”, it says. A night club owner told Milliyet that they “offer services” to tourists who visit the occupied area of Cyprus and to the soldiers of the Turkish occupation army.

The women are employed with “work permits” granted by the self-styled ministry of labor and social insurance, and the “ministry” of interior. The passports of the women are handed over to the “police”s” so-called migration department for the period they will stay in the occupied area of Cyprus. The amount paid for the “permit” is 3.500 Turkish Liras (TL, 1,500 euros). Citing statements by a “high ranking official in the administration”, it is reported that the annual income of the “state” from these night clubs is 10 million euros. Baris Basel, expert on social services, stated that a woman could go with at least 10 men every day and earn a daily average income of 2.000 TL (850 euros) or 60.000 TL (25,500 euros) per month.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkey, Sierra Leone Sign Economic Cooperation Agreement

Turkey and Sierra Leone on Tuesday penned an agreement for economic cooperation. The agreement was signed in a ceremony in Istanbul with the participation of Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Sierra Leone’s Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Konteh. Speaking at the ceremony, Caglayan said the agreement laid the foundations to set up a joint economic commission that would help boost relations between the two countries as well as allow for cooperation in third countries. Caglayan said Turkey expected Sierra Leone to support Ankara’s bid for a temporary seat at the UN Security Council for 2015-2016 as well as the Turkish city of Izmir’s candidacy to host Expo 2020…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Turkey-Syria: Press: Rebels Possibly Behind Mortar Fire

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 10 — Turkish daily Cumuriyet today raised the suspicion that anti-Assad Sunni rebels rather than government forces could be behind at least some of the Syrian mortar strikes against Turkey in the last few days.

Cumuriyet said that many people who crossed in the past week the border between Akcakale in Turkey and the Syrian town of Tel Abayad said Turkey’s retaliatory artillery strikes hit targets now held by rebels.

Militia with the Free Syrian Army (ESL) conquered two weeks ago the border crossing of Tal Abayad and occupied posts formerly controlled by government forces.

The Turkish army said it responded to Syrian mortar fire by following its radars and aiming guns against the locations which had originally fired, raising the suspect that Syrian cross-border shelling could have been fired by rebels, according to Cumuriyet.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Woman Who Killed Rapist Acquitted for ‘Self-Defence’

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 10 — A woman from the Kurdish region of Diyarbakir in eastern Anatolia was acquitted for knifing her rapist to death on the grounds that she acted in ‘self-defence’, the Turkish press reported today.

‘I am a woman from Diyarbakir’, she reportedly told the court. ‘Honour for us is very important. He soiled my honour and had to die’.

The woman identified as Nafile Kagmaz, reported Radical, had given her rapist an appointment at the local Gaziantep train station after the man kept stalking her despite the fact that she had reported him to the police. She then killed him, acting in self-defence, the judges said.

In August, Nevin Y’nin, a woman from the village of Ylvac near Ysparta, killed her rapist, cut off his head and threw it in the main village square and said that ‘this is the head of the man who played with my honour’, causing a sensation in Turkey.

Abuses against women are widespread in Turkey, mostly in rural areas.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Turkish Air Force Lands Syrian Airliner in Ankara

(AGI) — Ankara, Oct. 10 — Turkish fighters are reported to have forced a Syrian airliner to land at Ankara airport. Based on Anadolu press agency reports, satellite broadcaster Al Arabiya says the airliner was escorted by F4 Phantom fighters to Ankara’s Esenboga airport, isolated in the cargo area and is currently undergoing inspection. Authorities suspect the flight carried weapons. All flights out of Turkey over Syrian airspace have been placed on hold.

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

U.S. Moves to Impose “Buffer Zone” Inside Syria Near Jordan Border

Following days of shelling by Turkey to establish a “buffer zone” in Syria, the United States has sent a military task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to establish a similar zone between Syria and Jordan. The zone on the Syrian side of the border would be enforced by Jordanian troops and be supported politically and logistically by the United States, according to the New York Times.

The Times describes the proposed violation of Syrian national sovereignty as a noble effort by the United States to manage an exodus of Syrian refugees and “prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Troops Sent to Jordan for Syria Crisis, Panetta Says

The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to help build a headquarters in Jordan and bolster that country’s military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria.

But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.

It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria’s borders and become a regional conflict.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

6 Policemen Killed in Blast in S. Afghanistan

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, — Up to six Afghan Local Police (ALP) members were killed and one was wounded Wednesday morning when a bomb they were defusing went off in southern Afghan province of Helmand, a provincial government spokesman said. “The ALP found an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or roadside bomb but as they were defusing the IED, the explosive detonated at around 7 am local time, killing six ALP policemen and injuring one,” spokesman Ahmad Zarak told Xinhua. He said the incident took place in Group-e-Shash area of Nad Ali district in western part of provincial capital Laghkar Gah which located 555 km south of Afghan capital of Kabul.

The NATO and US-funded ALP or community police was established in August 2010 to protect villages and districts around the insurgency-hit country where Afghan army and police have limited presence. Taliban militants, who have been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, have often attacked Afghan and some 100,000 NATO- led forces with IEDs and roadside bombs but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians. At least, three civilians and a policeman were killed and five others wounded in separate IED blasts across the country on Tuesday…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

CBS Reporter Slams Administration for ‘Major Lie’ Over Weakened Taliban

CBS News and “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan took the gloves off last week, dropping her role as a disinterested journalist and delivering a speech in Chicago that criticized the Obama administration over its handling of the war in Afghanistan and the attack that killed four Americans in Libya.

Speaking to a crowd of about 1,100 at last Tuesday’s Better Government Association annual luncheon, Logan accused the administration of downplaying the number of Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan to support its rush to leave. She also claimed Washington acts as apologists for the Taliban by downplaying their links to Al Qaeda and the strength of their organization.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand that there is a major lie being propagated,” Logan said. That lie, she explained, is that the American military has weakened the Taliban.

On Sept. 30, Logan interviewed the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, for a piece on “60 Minutes.” He told her that “an awful lot of the population of this country is living in an area where there is vastly improved security from where it was just a few years ago.”

Logan, in her Tuesday speech, criticized the “narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years.”

She said it comes from “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban. … It’s such nonsense.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba Resurfaces in Pakistani City

A brain-eating amoeba has killed at least 10 people in Pakistan’s most populous city since May, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.

Naegleria fowleri has a fatality rate of more than 98 percent. It is transmitted when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and cannot be passed person-to-person.

The 10 confirmed cases have all occurred in the southern port city of Karachi, said Dr Musa Khan, head of the WHO’s Disease Early Warning System in Pakistan.

It is unclear if all cases have been reported as residents may not be familiar with the disease and Pakistan’s hospitals are severely overstretched.

The amoeba travels from the nasal membranes to the brain. Symptoms are initially very mild, including a headache, stiff neck, fever and stomach pain. Death usually occurs five to seven days after infection.

Authorities are planning a campaign to raise awareness among health workers and the public, Khan said. Most health centers had already been alerted, he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Muslim Extremists in the Streets Against Jakarta’s (Christian) Deputy Governor

The inauguration ceremony for the capital’s new leaders has been postponed from 7 to 15 October. Government sources say the decision is administrative. In reality, it is due to protests by extremists who want non-Muslims banned from all key positions of responsibility.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — The decision by Indonesia’s Interior Minister to postpone from 7 to 15 October the inauguration of Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, as Jakarta’s new governor and deputy governor, has stirred a hornets’ nest.

Government sources claim that the inauguration of Jokowi and Ahok (as their popularly known) has been delayed due to administrative reasons. However, for many ordinary Indonesians, the reason is quite different. The government’s decision to suspend the ceremony is due to other factors, namely a campaign by Muslim extremists against the deputy governor, guilty in their eyes for being Christian and of Chinese origins.

For days in fact, fundamentalist groups and movements have been mobilised against the capital’s new leaders because “they are not an expression of Islam”.

Joko Widodo is the outgoing governor of Jolo (central Java). Although a practicing Muslim, he is also a liberal. His deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnawa, is Christian and an ethnic Chinese, born in South Sumatra. Both Widodo and Purnawa have even been touted as possible candidates in the 2014 presidential elections.

The campaign against the Jokowi and Ahok ticket, especially against the Christian leader, has taken on a sense of urgency as hundreds of members of the Islamic Defence Front (FPI) invaded the streets to protest.

Gathered in front of Jakarta Provincial Legislative Council, Islamists warned government authorities that the new deputy governor will, as part of his mandate, manage 12 local agencies, including some Muslim organisations.

From their point of view, it is unacceptable that a non-Muslim should play any role in the life of Muslims, like supervising the language of the Qur’an or prayers. Instead, they want the government to ban non-Muslims from all key positions, including in the capital.

Indeed, the recent election campaign was marred from start to end by personal attacks against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama because of his religion and ethnic origins. Defamatory articles appeared in the press as his critics hurled abusive slogans at him.

Like before, sectarian tensions threatened confessional peace. In the past in fact, Chinese-Indonesians, both Christian and Buddhist, came under attack.

In May 1998, when strongman Suharto still ruled the country, thousands of them were violently and brutally attacked.

Over the years, such actions continued, a sign of how frail Indonesia’s social fabric is.

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

Indonesia: Police Tackle ‘Credible’ Terror Threat on 10th Anniversary of Bali Bombings

Indonesia declared its highest security alert on Wednesday, saying there was “credible information” of a threat against a ceremony on Friday marking the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings.

Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, will attend Friday’s service in Bali for the 202 people including 164 foreigners killed in the suicide attacks against two packed nightspots on October 12, 2002. “Based on credible information, the terrorists have planned to target the Bali bombing commemoration event with a terror attack,” Bali deputy Police Chief I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana told AFP. Security at all entry points to Bali, such as airports and seaports will be intensified,” he said, adding that security was at “the highest level”. We are taking extraordinary security measures following this threat,” he said, after earlier announcing that 1,000 security personnel including snipers and intelligence agents had been deployed…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Panetta, NATO to Discuss Next Steps in Afghanistan War, Announce New Commanders

BRUSSELS — NATO defe nse ministers are gathering in Belgium Wednesday to begin deliberating the next phase of the Afghanistan war and to hear how military commanders plan to tamp down the insider attacks that have killed or injured 130 allied forces. Officials here are also expected to formally announce that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, will be the next NATO supreme allied commander. Allen is slated to take over early next year, and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant Marine commandant, will take the top Afghanistan job…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Tapping Into a More Moderate Islam — In China

By Didi Kirsten Tatlow

BEIJING — Over the past decade, people around the world have grown accustomed to a violent face of Islam, the extremism that a leading Islamic law expert, Khaled Abou El Fadl, described as “petrol bomber” Islam in an interview for my column this week. That extremism makes alternatives, like the more liberal traditions among the 10 million Hui Muslims in China, where female imams and women’s mosques are the norm, “more important than a lot of people might realize,” said Mr. Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at the University of California, Los Angeles…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Anti-Islam Group Under Fire Over Leaflet Drop

The group which plans to host a visit to Australia by controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders is being accused of distributing anti-Islamic leaflets to letterboxes in Victoria.

It is not the first time the Q Society has been accused of using letter drops to spread bigotry. In big red lettering the leaflet warns “SAVE OUR SCHOOLS — BE AWARE the Australian Government is preferencing and supporting Islamic faith, history and culture in schools”. The flyer landed in letterboxes on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula earlier this week. Mount Eliza resident Judy, who does not want her full name to be used, says the leaflet has been widely distributed in her neighbourhood and she is incensed. “This got my back up. I’m feeling that it’s inflaming the general public and I don’t think that’s the right way to go,” she said. “The flyer is definitely anti-Islamic. That’s my impression. Because it says down further, ‘When less than 3 per cent of Australia’s population is Muslim, why are we allowing the Australian Government to support this?’.” On its website, the Q Society says Australia should be based on Judeo-Christian values and what it calls the “Islamisation of Australia” is its call to arms…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

‘Trouble-Stirrer’ Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Not Welcome

DUTCH far-right politician Geert Wilders won’t be welcome in Western Australia because he would offend Muslims and could trigger violent protests, WA Premier Colin Barnett says.

Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday labelled the controversial Dutchman’s views as “extremist and offensive” but said he would not use his ministerial powers to stop his planned speaking tour of Australia because he didn’t want to make the anti-Islam campaigner “a cause celebre”.

The tour was planned for October but is now expected in February.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

China and India — Rivals in Africa

The growing influence of China and India in Africa is being watched with skepticism. Many see the rising Asian economic powers as new colonial masters exploiting resource-rich Africa solely for their own benefit.

In August 2012, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought the scorn of China and India upon her head. During a speech in Senegal, as part of her extensive trip through Africa, she derisively announced that, “The USA stands for democracy and human rights, even when it’s easier or more profitable to look away in order to secure resources.”

For a while now, China and India have been at the center of growing criticism for going on reckless shopping sprees in Africa in order to feed their growing economies back home. That includes, according to accusations, not shirking away from doing business with countries that have been shunned internationally, like Sudan and Zimbabwe. The citizens of Africa were supposed to have received little benefit these investments. With their resources now robbed, critics say it will be hardly possible for African countries to do business on equal terms.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Mursi Takes Part in Festivals on Golden Jubilee of Uganda

President Mohamed Morsi arrived in Uganda on Tuesday 9/10/2012 at the head of a high level delegation Including Foreign Minister Mohmed Kamal Amr and minister of water resources and irrigation Mohamed Baha Eddin to attend the festivals which will be held on the 50th anniversary of the independence of Uganda. President Morsi will have talks with President Yoweri Museveni on a number important files including the file of the river Nile water, expanding cooperation between Egypt and Uganda in the economic filed. While in Uganda, President Morsi will meet six African heads of state including those of South Africa, Somalia and Senegal.

President Morsi’s visit to Uganda will usher in a new stage of relations based on understanding, friendship and development, within the framework of Egypt’s strategy to deepen relations with the Nile basin states. Egypt’s Ambassador to Uganda Sabri Magdi said President Morsi would meet the Ugandan leader and a number of leaders who led liberation movements against imperialism in Africa namely Somalia, Tanzania, Ruwanda, Burundi, Democratic Congo, South Sudan, Central Africa, Malawi, Chad, Benin, and South Africa. He said festivals will be held on ceremonies land in Kololo, Downtown Kampala.

[JP note: oh, mercy mercy me … where did all the blue sky go?]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: President of Bishops Conference Urges Government to Act

Jos — Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference condemned the October 2nd attack on students at the University of Mubi in Northeastern Nigeria. In an interview with Agenzia Fides, Archbishop Kaigama said that while authorities have not confirmed the perpetrators, he believes that “it seems to have been perpetrated by Boko Haram members, because it is similar to other acts committed by them recently.”

Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group in Nigeria, is suspected to be behind several attacks against Christians and Muslim holy sites. Most recently, the group was behind an attack in St John’s Catholic Cathedral where a suicide bomber attacked faithful leaving Sunday mass. Since 2010, the militant Islamic group has claimed the lives of over 1,400 people in attacks on churches, mosques, government and security buildings, and markets. Last week’s attack claimed the lives of 40 students and is the third such attack in less than a month.

The Nigerian prelate criticized the groups actions against the people of Nigeria, both Christians and Muslims. “Boko Haram is a criminal sect separated from the rest of Islam,” he said. “Its members are criminals who make no distinction between Christians and Muslims. The reasons for their violence go beyond religion.” “Our security services must find out what is behind the Boko Haram attacks,” he continued saying. “I wonder if there is a political force with its strategy behind all this. But it is not my job to find out. I am a religious leader, it is not my job, it is up to the government and security forces. “

Archbishop Kaigama has been critical of the government’s insufficient response to the attacks and has called on the government to increase security measures in the country. Two days after the University massacre, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan announced a new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Commenting on President Jonathan’s announcement, the president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference said it was time for the President to act. “It can be a way to respond to the situation, because the population gets angrier and angrier by the day due to the massacre of innocent people killed for no reason,” he said.

[JP note: The reason is obvious — Sharia law for all.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Somalia: 7/7 Widow ‘Training Girl Suicide Bombers’

THE British widow of a 7/7 killer has reportedly been training a squad of girl suicide bombers to mount attacks in Kenya.

Terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, whose husband Jermaine Lindsay died murdering 26 people on the London Underground in 2005, is wanted over a bomb plot in the East African state. Now a group of fanatics with the al-Shabaab terror network — linked to al-Qaeda — have claimed she has been training women in neighbouring Somalia. The Muslim Youth Centre, an online mouthpiece for al-Shabaab, posted a message accompanied by Lewthwaite’s photo. It said: “We call her ‘Dada Mzungu’ — tormentor of the kuffar…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Nearly a Third of Mexico Households Targets of Crime, Study Says

Nearly a of third of households in Mexico suffered a crime in 2011 and only in 8% of those cases was a preliminary investigation opened, according to new figures from the national statistics institute.

The numbers demonstrate that crimes with victims, including robbery, assault, car theft, extortion, identity theft, and kidnappings, are widely under-reported to authorities in Mexico and that the true scope is probably unknown.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or Inegi by its Spanish acronym, polled 95,903 homes this spring and asked respondents to list instances of crime victimization in 2011, not including homicides.

In 30.6% of households polled, at least one adult resident was victimized in 2011. When the victim was present, “physical aggression” occurred in 26.6% of the cases.

The most common crimes were robberies or muggings, car thefts and burglaries. In 91.6% of the cases, preliminary investigations were not started, as victims widely distrust the police or see reporting crimes as a “waste of time,” Inegi said in an analysis released Sept. 27.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Italy: Worker Legalization Program Not Successful in Veneto

Only 6,000 applicants out of 50,000 expected, says labor union

(ANSA) — Venice, October 9 — An amnesty decree running until October 15 allowing employers to legally hire foreigners working in Italy has not received a strong response, especially in the region of Veneto, labor union CGIL said on Tuesday. With less than one week left to go for applications to be filed, only 6,000 requests have been presented compared to an initial potential estimate of 50,000. Employers of illegal workers were given the chance to come clean and legalize anyone who had been continuously employed since at least December 31, 2011 by filing an application and paying 1,000 euros each plus six months’ worth of salaries, welfare and taxes.

According to the Leone Moressa Foundation an estimated 380,000 foreign workers need to be regularized, but employers may opt not to do so due to the prohibitive fees and excessive red tape.

The window of time for legalizing workers that started September 15 will end on October 15.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UK: Asylum Seeker Admits Killing Young Model, 20, By Driving the Wrong-Way Up a Motorway

An asylum seeker today admitted causing the death of a ‘beautiful’ aspiring young model when he drove the wrong way on a motorway.

Wilfred Museka 31, had been at the wheel of his Renault Megane when he hit a Chevrolet Matiz on the M62 near to Milnrow, Rochdale.

Rebecca Caine 20, from Leeds, who was a passenger in the Matiz died, and three others were hurt in the crash on September 15.

Museka, who is thought to be from Zimbabwe, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court today.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Abu Qatada Appeal is ‘Scraping the Barrel’ Claim Lawyers as Immigration Judge Decides Whether He Can be Deported to Jordan

Terror suspect Abu Qatada is ‘scraping the barrel’ in an appeal against deportation which ‘bears all the hallmarks of a last-ditch argument’, a tribunal was told today.

The radical cleric, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, would receive a fair trial in Jordan if deported, lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Labour ‘Used Migrants to Keep Wages Low’ — Home Secretary Theresa May

LABOUR fostered a policy of mass immigration to the UK in a deliberate attempt to keep British wages down, Theresa May said yesterday.

The Home Secretary said Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s open-door to immigration was part of a “covert” 21st century incomes policy.

She said the plan failed because for every 100 non- European working age immigrants 23 fewer British-born workers found jobs.

Tearing Labour’s record to shreds Mrs May vowed to slash net migration from 216,000 to tens of thousands within two years. She told the Tory conference:

“It takes time to establish the social bonds that make a community, and that’s why immigration can never again

be as rapid or on the same scale as we saw under Labour.

“Uncontrolled, mass immigration undermines social cohesion. And in some places, it overburdens our infrastructureand public services.

“It’s behind more than a third of the demand for all new housing in the UK. And the pressure it places on schools is

clear. We see it in London, where almost half of all primary school children speak English as a second language.

“And we must be honest about the fact that, in some cases, uncontrolled mass immigration can displace local workers and undercut wages.”

Mrs May, wearing her trademark leopard print kitten heels, said independent advisers found “every 100 non-European working age immigrants were associated with 23 fewer British-born people in work”.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Gender-Neutral Pronoun Debate Rocks Sweden

Sweden’s tradition of gender equality has famously put more mums in the workplace while rising numbers of dads stay at home. Now advocates have a new frontier: they’re pushing for a gender-neutral pronoun, “hen”, to be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she).

“There’s almost nothing left to do in the field of gender equality, so people are suggesting increasingly strange ideas,” said independent journalist Elise Claesson, partly amused and partly irritated by the debate.

The word “hen” was coined in the 1960s when the ubiquitous use of “han” (he) became politically incorrect. It was about “simplifying the language” and avoiding the clumsy “han/hon” (s/he) construction, said linguist Karin Milles.

But the word never really took off.

It resurfaced around 2000, when the country’s small transgender community latched onto it.

Then the publication this year of a children’s book reignited the debate over the pronoun.

“Kivi och Monsterhund” (Kivi and the Monster Dog) uses “hen” exclusively, dispensing altogether with “han” and “hon”.

Author Jesper Lundqvist said he wanted his book to address children in general, not little boys or little girls.

“Hen” is not meant to replace “he” and “she”, supporters argue. Instead, it allows speakers to refer to a person without having to mention the gender if they don’t know it, if the person is transgender, or if the information is considered irrelevant.

Swedish society “needs a third sex, a third position,” Susanna Karlsson of the Language Council of Sweden told AFP.

However, she said: “But we have to keep ‘he’ and ‘she’ because these are categories that everyone uses to orient themselves. We want to know if a person is a man or a woman.”

According to Milles, “hen” is a tool that “works to spread the idea of

gender equality.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Exomoons May Give US First Glimpse of Habitable Worlds

Moons, rather than planets, could star in the first images of habitable worlds outside our solar system. Once taken, such images would offer unprecedented clues to the moons’ ability to support life by providing the chemical signatures carried in their light.

“If we can direct-image them, we can take their spectra, which means we can determine what sort of molecules are in their atmosphere,” says Mary Anne Peters of Princeton University.

So far, more than 800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, have been found using indirect methods, such as picking up the dimming of a star’s light when a planet passes in front of it. But spectra from rocky planets similar in size to Earth have been tough to collect with these methods. The planetary photo album is even slimmer: only 4 systems have been imagedMovie Camera.

One challenge is that stars are bright whereas planets are dim, so a planet has to be far enough from its star to avoid being outshined. That means those worlds that have been imaged orbit outside the habitable zone, the region around a star that’s warm enough for liquid water. Also, planets shining bright enough to appear in pictures must be glowing from the heat of formation and so are too young to host life.

But if a moon orbits a mature gas giant akin to Jupiter, the planet’s gravitational pull might be constantly kneading and stretching the moon, keeping its interior molten. This process, called tidal heating, is known to fuel the furnace of Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active body in our solar system. With tidal heat, an exomoon should shine in pictures.

“In a sense, what we’re saying is that there’s a way to keep warm other than starlight,” says Edwin Turner, also of Princeton. “This will let us directly image moons in planetary systems even when we can’t see the planet.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]