Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121020

Financial Crisis
»Bank Recapitalization When EU Vigilance Exists, Monti Says
»Brussels Paying Thousands of Young Jobless Europeans to Come and Work in Britain
»EU Budget Supervisor ‘Not Needed’, Monti Says
»EU Leaders Seal Bank Watchdog Deal
»Eurozone Crisis Almost Over, Says Monti
»Financial: Unsustainable
»Greece: Turkish Clothing Firms Forced to Return Home
»Italy Has Not Decided on Use for Tobin Tax Funds, Monti Says
»November Sees First Pan-Iberian Anti-Austerity Strike
»The Federal Reserve Sends Thank You Letters to Congress for Allowing Them to Destroy Our Economy in Secret
»FBI Reward Offered Over Anti-Muslim Slurs Written on Seattle Group’s Rental Car
»Mosque, Traffic Take Center Stage as Bernards Candidates Square Off
»Rep. Allen West: Looking the Other Way: President Obama’s Dangerous Foreign Policy
»Report: EPA Delaying Job-Killing Regulations to Aid Obama Re-Election
»Romney Jokes About Media Bias as Reporters Protect Obama
»Romney Had Binders of Women, Obama Had Binders of Muslims
»Time to Allow Uranium Mining in Virginia
»Trevor Loudon: Video: An Urgent Message for America: Please Help This Go Viral
»Video: He Said Allahu Akbar
»What Did the CIA Know and When Did it Stop Knowing it?
»A Massive and Illegal Geoengineering Project Has Been Detected Off Canada’s West Coast
»Halifax Woman Denied Religious Vanity Plate
Europe and the EU
»89-Year-Old German Indicted in Italy for WWII Massacre
»Denmark: Racism Charges Against Teacher Dropped
»Denmark: Taxi Driver Gets 14 Years for Mosque Shooting
»Dutch Proposal to Search and Destroy Foreign Computers
»Expose: Europe Turns Churches Into Mosques
»France: Génération Identitaire’s ‘War’ Takes Shape
»From the Great Mosque of Poitiers, Génération Identitaire Call to Reconquest!
»Greek Neo-Nazi Group Doubles in Popularity
»Ireland: Mosque Proposed for Clongriffin
»Italian Doctors Probed for ‘Taking Bribes to Push Pills’
»Italy: Milan Province PDL Chief Probed for Graft
»Italy: Berlusconi Set to Renew PDL/Northern League Alliance
»Luxembourg: HRH Princess Lalla Salma Takes Part in Luxembourg in Gala Dinner Offered by Grand Ducal Family
»Northern Scotland Goes From Nuclear to Wind and Waves
»Norway: Schoolgirl Gets Revenge on Cocky Boy by Blasting Football Directly at His Face… Causing Him to Cry in Front of His Classmates
»Police Investigating the Shooting of a British Family in the French Alps Believe the Cyclist Also Found Dead at the Scene Was Shot First, According to a Leaked Provisional Scenario.
»Ryanair Investigated for Evading Italian National Insurance
»Spain Seeks to Outlaw Filming Cops
»UK: ‘They Ignore Us’ — Women Say They Are Second-Class Citizens at Dundee Central Mosque
»UK: ‘Dangerous Offender’ Who Raped Six-Year-Old Girl on Several Occasions in Ilford is Locked Up for Five Years
»UK: A Note to Our Commentators on the Subject of Free Speech
»UK: EDL Chief ‘Arrested’
»UK: Freedom of Information Act: The Pursuit of Transparency is Leading to Dishonesty and Intrigue
»UK: Hospitals’ £1bn in Parking Charges in Only Ten Years
»UK: Takeaways Should Say if Their Meat is Halal, Says Campaigner
»UK: The End of Mitchell Spells the End for Leveson
»Wales: Cardiff Hit and Run Rampage Kills Mother and Injures 10 More
»Wales: ‘It Was a Miracle’: Toddler Catapulted Into Air and Caught by Her Father as Hit-and-Run Van Driver ‘Mows Down’ Fourteen Innocent People in Just 30 Minutes
Mediterranean Union
»Extemist Religions Threat to Cultural Heritage
North Africa
»France 24 Journalist Sexually Assaulted in Cairo
»How Stevens May Have Been Linked to Syria Jihadists
»Libya: Battle for Bani Walid Divides Population
»Libya: Bean Bag Diplomacy
»Tunisia: UGTT and CGTT Strongly Condemn Violent Incidents in Tataouine
Israel and the Palestinians
»Finn-Swede Estelle Approaches Gaza Coastline, Finnish MFA Warns That They Will Not Get Involved…
»Israeli Navy Intercepts Gaza-Bound Ship
»Israeli Navy Boards ‘Estelle’ Gaza-Bound Ship
Middle East
»Beirut Bomb Blast Kills Lebanon’s Most Senior Intelligence Official
»Iran: Mosque Suicide Bomber Kills Two Basij
»Iraq: Gunfire Attacks Kill 3 in Baghdad
»Lebanon on Edge After Car Bomb Kills Security Chief
»Obama Cuts Deal With Iran Over Nukes
»Obama’s October Surprise Nuke Deal With Iran Emerges
»Pope’s Advice to Middle Eastern Christians: Collective Suicide
»The Poplar Preacher Leading an Armed Gang of Jihadis in Syria
»U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks
»Young Saudis Volunteer to Clean Graveyards, Mosque Toilets
»Russian Political Movement: No More Mosques!
South Asia
»Bomb Kills 19 Wedding Guests in Afghanistan
»Italian Foreign Minister Calls Marines Detention ‘Illicit’
»Six Afghan Policemen Poisoned and Shot by a Colleague
Australia — Pacific
»Barley Geneticists Toast to Future of Better Beer
»Three-Storey Mosque Planned for Globe Derby Park
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Muslim Protesters Fight Police in Tanzania, Popular Cleric Freed
»Tanzania: Dar Business District Turns Into Battle Field
»Denmark: Immigrant Gangs Agree on Peace Treaty
»Sending Imans to the West

Financial Crisis

Bank Recapitalization When EU Vigilance Exists, Monti Says

Italian prime minister speaking after Brussels summit

(ANSA)Rome, October 19; The direct recapitalization of banks will take place as soon as a single vigilance mechanism is instituted, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in Brussels Friday following a European Union summit.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Brussels Paying Thousands of Young Jobless Europeans to Come and Work in Britain

The European Commission will pay £250 towards the cost of crossing the continent for an interview and £830 in moving expenses if they get a job

Critics will ask why Brussels is offering to subsidise unemployed Europeans to travel to the UK when nearly a million young Britons are without work

The scheme, which aims to match jobseekers with suitable jobs, is being piloted in Spain, where youth unemployment exceeds 50 per cent.

The young jobless from Germany, Denmark and Italy are also set to benefit — with the plan likely to be rolled out across the entire EU.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

EU Budget Supervisor ‘Not Needed’, Monti Says

Italian PM eases Franco-German row

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 19 — A supervisor for the budgets of European Union members is not needed, Italian Premier Mario Monti said Thursday night, easing an EU summit row between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The summit agreed to set aside the issue of a veto-wielding supervisor, advocated by Merkel to France’s chagrin, and instead push forward with a supervisor for banking union, to be set up by the end of the year.

Germany and other northern European countries still want more time than that to organise a banking union.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

EU Leaders Seal Bank Watchdog Deal

European leaders agreed Friday to police thousands of eurozone banks beginning next year as they sought to create much-needed jobs in their austerity-battered economies.

By the close of a two-day summit, France and Germany had patched up differences over how to beat the debt crisis, with the new watchdog for 6,000 banks a key condition for allowing a dedicated rescue fund to re-float troubled lenders.

Leaders cited “significant progress” on a 120-billion-euro ($155-billion) package of measures to try to kickstart a climb out of recession as social and political unrest hits Spain as well as Greece.

But the bank deal appeared to come too late for Spanish lenders, who need recapitalisation to the tune of some 40 billion euros that Madrid had hoped would not be added to its public debt burden for fear of sparking new pressures on money markets.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that direct recapitalisation by the eurozone rescue fund could not be retroactive, that it “will only be possible for the future.”

Fellow hardliners the Netherlands and Finland adopted the same view when finance ministers from the three states met last month in Helsinki, seemingly reversing plans carefully laid down by the eurozone in June.

France is still pleading for the “Helsinki” trio to come round. A top EU official speaking anonymously after the summit ended said Paris has concerns about spillover effects from Spain, and maintained Merkel’s remark came as “a surprise” as the 27 EU bloc leaders “did not settle this.”

This official said the Spanish bank bailout could benefit from some direct recapitalisation later in the process, once the watchdog is up and running — supposed to be later in 2013.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces growing political problems with a general strike called for November 14 and key elections in the autonomous Basque Country on Sunday and independence-minded Catalonia next month.

Rajoy said the direct aspect of recapitalisation was not an “urgent” issue for Spain, while talk of sovereign aid — expected to take the form of a credit line initially — also remains on the back-burner.

With market pressures considerably eased since the summer, the fresh commitment bird’s eye bank supervision led by the European Central Bank is supposed to anchor a re-designed economic and monetary union.

Leaders are beginning to believe — after three years in full crisis mode — that the euro can be made more attractive to influential EU states still outside the currency bloc like Poland, one of the bloc’s strongest economies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eurozone Crisis Almost Over, Says Monti

Italian premier speaking at Brussels press conference

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 19 — The eurozone crisis is in the process of “being overcome,” said to Italian Premier Mario Monti.

The Italian leader was speaking in Brussels at a press conference where the results of the earlier European Union summit were being outlined.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Financial: Unsustainable

But both political parties have been endlessly pushing the “free trade” agenda. They have both promised that it would bring us tremendous prosperity.

Well, just take a look at our formerly great manufacturing cities today. Do they look prosperous to you?

It turns out that Ross Perot was right when he warned about the “giant sucking sound” that would happen if NAFTA was implemented.

When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

That didn’t work out so well, did it?

What about opening up trade with China?

Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little “m”) for the entire year.

In 2011, our trade deficit with China was 295.4 billion dollars. That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

Our trade with China is tremendously unbalanced. Today, U.S. consumers spend approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

This is a huge reason why shiny new factories are going up all over China, and our blue collar cities are turning into rotting war zones filled with unemployed people.


The Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems, but most Americans don’t realize this. It was the Federal Reserve that created the conditions for the housing bubble, and it was the Federal Reserve that badly mismanaged the response when that bubble burst. The Federal Reserve decides how much money will be printed and what our interest rates will be. The Federal Reserve lends out trillions of dollars to the banks that they like, and other banks they let die. The Federal Reserve picks winners and losers in our economy, and most of the time that means good things for the big Wall Street banks and bad things for the rest of us.

In a desperate attempt to keep our unsustainable financial system from collapsing, the Federal Reserve has decided to start printing unprecedented amounts of money. Just look at what this has done to the monetary base…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece: Turkish Clothing Firms Forced to Return Home

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 15 — The Greek market has proven far from hospitable for a number of clothing companies from Turkey that in the middle of the last decade had seen Greece as a gateway to European markets. It was in November 2005 when the opening of The Mall Athens, a large shopping center in the northern suburb of Maroussi, also saw the entry into Greece of Turkish companies Koton, Ipekyol, Mavi, Inci and Gizia. Seven years on — as daily Kathimerini reports -, Koton is the only one out of those five that still has an outlet at the same shopping center and is seeking to expand its presence in the local market with three more stores by the end of the year. Koton’s chief financial officer in Greece, Constantinos Aslanoglou, told Kathimerini that the very high rental rates have in many cases proven an insurmountable obstacle to growth for various chains in the way that their executives had planned. “Even today there are some stores available in the market, but the owners would rather have them empty than reduce their rental fees,” Aslanoglou noted. Koton recently expanded its store at The Mall Athens and is targeting the creation of a network of 10 outlets in Greece. It owns 600 stores in Europe, the Middle East and Turkey and operates largely along the lines of Spanish rival Inditex, offering “fast fashion at affordable prices.” However, Koton is the exception. The Ipekyol group had a disappointing time in Greece, where it had been operating eight stores. It now appears that its expansion took place too quickly and that it didn’t carry out adequate studies on the needs of local consumers. As a result, the group has now given up on its efforts to take root in Greece and Europe. For Mavi Jeans, the competition was apparently much stiffer than expected, while in the case of footwear firm Inci there had been problems with the parent company that affected its local activity. Gizia remains in Greece, but the store is under the control of the Greek franchisee, which has acquired the rights to the development of the chain in this country. However, Aslanoglou says that Turkish entrepreneurs remain interested in entering the Greek market.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy Has Not Decided on Use for Tobin Tax Funds, Monti Says

Monti says Merkel’s EU solidarity fund idea is ‘interesting’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 19 — The Italian government has not yet made any specific decision on how it plans to use funds raised by the Tobin tax, Italian Premier Mario Monti said on Friday in Brussels.

Monti was commenting on a recent request made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for Tobin Tax funds to be transferred into a European solidarity fund. “Chancellor Merkel’s suggestion is an interesting one”, Monti said at a press conference. “The Italian government has not yet deliberated specific uses for the resources raised by the Tobin Tax”, Monti said. “I believe future Italian governments will be sensitive to decisions that are made at a European Union level”, he added.

The meeting with journalists took place after the Italian leader participated at a European Union summit.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

November Sees First Pan-Iberian Anti-Austerity Strike

Spanish trade unionists have called a general strike against Madrid’s austerity program. The protests will coincide with a similar strike in neighboring Portugal to make it the first concerted Iberian labor action.

The Spanish trade union confederation CCOO called Friday for a general strike for November 14, saying it would be directed at Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s recent austerity policies.

The labor action will coincide with a general strike in neighboring Portugal, prompting organizers to speak of the first joint Iberian workers protest. “The strike has good chances of spreading to other European countries, especially in the south,” CCOO representative Fernando Leczano told reporters in Madrid.

Leczano insisted that all EU countries that have applied austerity measures have become worse for it and said the strike in November was aimed at forcing governments to modify their economic and budgetary policies.

In a first response to the announcement, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the strike would not improve the image of his country abroad. Though he acknowledged that people are concerned about the government’s harsh cuts, Rajoy insisted that the measures are required to wriggle out of recession. “We do it because it must be done, and because it will create the basis for economic recovery,” Rajoy said on the sidelines of an EU reform summit in Brussels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Federal Reserve Sends Thank You Letters to Congress for Allowing Them to Destroy Our Economy in Secret

It was Politico that first broke the story about the thank you letters that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent to five members of Congress back in July. Bernanke acknowledged in the letters that there was never any worry that the “Audit the Fed” bill would actually get through Congress and be signed into law, but he was still extremely grateful that a number of members of Congress got up and publicly denounced the bill…

In July, the Fed chairman sent letters of gratitude to five Democratic members of Congress after they delivered speeches on the House floor urging fellow lawmakers to reject the “Audit the Fed” bill authored by retiring Texas Republican Ron Paul, the central bank’s chief antagonist.

Their efforts failed to defeat the bill, but they were not in vain, at least in Bernanke’s eyes.

“While the outcome of the vote was not in doubt, your willingness to stand up for the independence of the Federal Reserve is greatly appreciated,” Bernanke wrote in the letters, which were obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request.

So who did Bernanke send those letters to? According to Politico, the thank you letters were delivered to U.S. Representatives Barney Frank, Elijah Cummings, Melvin Watt, Carolyn Maloney and Steny Hoyer.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


FBI Reward Offered Over Anti-Muslim Slurs Written on Seattle Group’s Rental Car

CHELAN — The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for anti-Muslim slurs written on a rental car in Chelan last month. On Sept. 1, offensive phrases were written in black marker on a BMW that was rented by several Seattle-area Muslims who were spending the day in Chelan. An initial investigation by the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office found eight Muslims had prayed in a parking lot of a nearby motel before driving to the parking lot at Jet Skis Ahoy, at 1230 W. Woodin Ave. Authorities believed that the obvious Muslim prayer may have made them a target. The FBI is investigating the incident as a potential hate crime. Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett said his agency, too, considers the malicious mischief a potential hate crime. He said without information about the intent of the perpetrators and other factors, it’s difficult to know for certain. “I’m not trying to minimize it,” he said. “We take a lot of things into account.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mosque, Traffic Take Center Stage as Bernards Candidates Square Off

Bernards — Four township committee hopefuls discussed the controversial mosque proposal before the planning board, traffic issues surrounding Ridge High and future consolidation of services in a candidates forum Thursday night, in Basking Ridge. The forum was co-hosted by the League of Women Voters of Somerset County and the student-run Ridge High School Empowerment for Political Participation group, and took place at Ridge High School’s Performing Arts Center…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Rep. Allen West: Looking the Other Way: President Obama’s Dangerous Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama has built a foreign policy on trying to appease and make friends with America’s enemies, rather than facing them head on with strength and clear consequences for their actions. The president’s approach, marked by his belief that he could transition from a community organizer to a global organizer, has been an utter failure. The president has diminished our nation’s international influence and stature, and most egregiously, has put the lives of all Americans in peril.

In the days since the attacks on our embassies and consulates on the 11th of September, we have seen a president and his administration demur, deflect, and mislead the American people. Vice President Joe Biden says on the campaign trail that “GM is alive, and Osama is dead.” Tragically, so is our Ambassador to Libya.

President Obama’s community organizer roots have given him a naïve assumption. He believes he can get everyone in one room and with time, they will all eventually get along. Anyone who studies history and understands the global threat America faces today, understands that in order for “peace, love and happiness,” not only do all parties involved need to be willing to try, but they actually have to have the same goal.

America’s enemies are emboldened

This president’s foreign policy failure has made America’s enemies ever more emboldened and our allies feeling even more abandoned. In his recent speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama repeated six times that the recent attacks on Sovereign United States territories across the Islamic world were caused by a Youtube movie. He refused to use the words “terrorist attack” in referring to the events in Benghazi. He also warned to the assembled nations “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” He is either incapable or unwilling to acknowledge a radical fundamental Islamist enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy our way of life…


[Return to headlines]

Report: EPA Delaying Job-Killing Regulations to Aid Obama Re-Election

President Obama is putting off major environmental regulations until after the November elections in order to avoid the political blowback of the economic damage those regulations will cause, according to a new Senate report.

Environmental regulators in the Obama administration “don’t want this economic pain to hit American families just before the election because it would cost President Obama votes,” states the report, released by Environment and Public Works ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on Thursday, “so they have simply decided to punt, intending to move full speed ahead if they gain a second term.”

The report lists a number of major environmental regulations that are either in their nascent stages or have yet to be implemented. Collectively, those regulations “will destroy millions of American jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket even more,” Inhofe said in a news release accompanying the report.

The decision to delay implementation of these rules is part of what the New York Times called a “new calculus on political and policy shifts as the White House sharpens its focus on the president’s re-election.”

Tensions between the White House and top environmental regulators flared when the president announced he would delay an EPA rule on ozone emissions until after the election. EPA chief Lisa Jackson was livid, but the president assured her that he would move forward with the rule after the election.

Inhofe’s report presents that decision as part of a coordinated strategy to achieve punitive environmental regulations without suffering significant setbacks at the ballot box. Read the full report here:


[Senate report and other links at original URL]

[Return to headlines]

Romney Jokes About Media Bias as Reporters Protect Obama

Speaking at the Al Smith dinner, which benefits Catholic humanitarian causes, Mitt Romney took on the press in a joking manner that struck many as truthful. “Now I never suggest that the press is biased,” he said. “I recognize that they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”

He went on, “Let’s just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? ‘Polls Show Obama Leading from Behind.’ And I’ve already seen early reports from tonight’s dinner. Headline: ‘Obama Embraced by Catholics. Romney Dines with Rich People.’“

Meanwhile, Professor Paul Kengor was not joking when he told Breitbart News that the job of the major media “is to protect Obama, not expose him.“ Kengor has experienced media bias first hand since his blockbuster book, The Communist, came out in July. It exposes Obama’s relationship with Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis.

Frank was revealed to be Frank Marshall Davis in 2007, when a Communist Party writer named Gerald Horne made the disclosure. Blogger Trevor Loudon wrote about the connection that same year and AIM confirmed the identification of “Frank” as Frank Marshall Davis on February 18, 2008, in a column, “Obama’s Communist Mentor.” Davis’s 600-page FBI file was released in August of that year—before the election.

Asked by Breitbart News if any mainstream media journalists have contacted him about his definitive and exhaustive analysis of Davis and his relationship to Obama, Kengor replied, “Are you kidding? No way. Not a chance. They’ll send a team of a dozen reporters to fact-check Sarah Palin’s memoirs or a Romney speech, but not to investigate the President they’ve committed to coddle and preserve.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Romney Had Binders of Women, Obama Had Binders of Muslims

‘It was mostly under the radar. We thought it would put (the president) in a precarious position’

(Frontpage) I guess it’s all about priorities. Romney wanted more women represented in his cabinet. Obama wanted more Muslims represented in his administration.

But here’s a question, how many of those Muslims in Obama’s Muslim binders were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, former MSA students or linked to other Brotherhood front groups in America?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Time to Allow Uranium Mining in Virginia

On a tract of private land in Virginia, 119 million tons of uranium ore lie buried—the nation’s largest known uranium deposit. The Virginia General Assembly is currently considering whether to issue regulations that allow this resource to be developed. The debate has been overtaken by purposeful misinformation, decades of cultural bias, and manipulation by special interests. A closer analysis, however, reveals that uranium mining is conducted around the world safely and to great economic benefit. Studies show that the net economic benefit of construction and operations will yield almost $5 billion for Virginians over the life of the mine—around 35 years. With modern technology, efficient regulation, and 21st-century best practices, uranium mining is safe for workers, the environment, and surrounding populations.

The federal government banned uranium mining on more than 1 million acres of federal land in Arizona.[1] Virginia lawmakers are considering doing the same in their own state. Buried 1,600 feet beneath a cattle farm in southern Virginia on a tract of private land called Coles Hill are 119 million tons of uranium ore—the nation’s largest known deposit of uranium, and the seventh largest in the world. At current uranium prices, the deposit is valued at approximately $6 billion and is enough to fuel each of America’s 104 nuclear reactors for two years.

Unlike in Arizona, however, the tract of land holding Virginia uranium is privately owned by a family who has lived and worked there since 1785, and the decision about whether to develop this resource will be made by in the Virginia legislature, not by Washington bureaucrats. At issue is whether the Virginia General Assembly will produce regulations that allow uranium mining. Uranium mining would create jobs and wealth in a region that badly needs it, and would provide an important energy source. Those factors are significant, but even more is at stake: the underlying issue over private property rights. May people safely develop their own property as they see fit?

Of course, as soon as the word “uranium” or “nuclear” is introduced, the debate quickly becomes clouded by purposeful misinformation, decades of cultural bias, and manipulation by special interests. The reality is that uranium mining is not that different from other mining, such as for coal and titanium that is conducted in the U.S. and around the world very safely. There is no reason that the result cannot be the same in Virginia.

Uranium Mining in the Commonwealth

Interest in mining uranium grew in Virginia when the 1973 OPEC oil embargo inspired the creation of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation program under the U.S. Geological Survey to locate sources of American uranium. Though the U.S. had only 40 operating nuclear reactors in 1973, which used uranium as fuel, hundreds were in the planning process. The evolving energy landscape seemed to point directly toward an increase in uranium demand for decades to come.


[Return to headlines]

Trevor Loudon: Video: An Urgent Message for America: Please Help This Go Viral

I recorded this video a couple of weeks ago. It is my message to America. In it, I attempt to explain the global implications of the upcoming US elections.

This election is the most crucial in modern American history. It is not primarily about jobs and economics, it is about national security and, to be blunt, national survival. America, and indeed the entire Western World, faces destruction if communist sympathizer Barack Obama is returned to office.

This video is being distributed all over the United States. Please watch it, and if you agree with the basic ideas expressed, send it out through your networks, to as many people as you can, conservative, liberal, undecided, it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes it takes an outside view to clarify important matters. I hope this message will serve that purpose.

From a very grateful New Zealander.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video: He Said Allahu Akbar

The attack on Fort Hood told by those who were there

(YouTube) The 2009 attack on U.S. military by Nidal Hasan has been called “workplace violence” by the Obama administration, but those who were the target of the shooting have no doubt it was terrorism.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

What Did the CIA Know and When Did it Stop Knowing it?

by Diana West

Yesterday, we learned specifically that the CIA station chief in Tripoli reported to Washington within 24 hours that the consulate attack was executed by terrorists and was not a spontaneous demonstration over a video that turned violent. The President, of course, would continue to weave a narrative blaming the video for two more weeks, hitting that narrative’s climax in his UN address on September 25. Citing the video six times in his address, Obama declared: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” It seems clear that the video, not the jihad, simply had to be driver in all of the 9/11/12 Islamic rampaging or else Obama’s big pitch for the Islamic anti-”blasphemy” movement wouldn’t have been, even in his world, feasible.

We now know there was no demonstration in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. And we know also that this fact was apparent to the State Department in real time.

Another thing we know — helpfully pointed out by the AP, I must add — is that the Obama administration has a history of downplaying terrorist attacks on its watch. Regarding the Benghazi controversy, AP reports:…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]


A Massive and Illegal Geoengineering Project Has Been Detected Off Canada’s West Coast

A private company backed by a controversial U.S. businessman has unilaterally conducted the world’s most significant geoengineering project to date. Russ George, in conjunction with a First Nations village on Haida Gwaii, has dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean in a technique known as ocean fertilization. The experiment, which is in violation of two United Nations moratoria, has outraged environmental, legal, and civic groups.

The iron sulphate was dumped into the Pacific back in July, but recent satellite images are now confirming its effects — an artificial plankton bloom that’s 10,000 square kilometers (3,861 square miles) in size. The intention of the project is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the bottom of the ocean. George is hoping to cash in on lucrative carbon credits.

Critics say it is a “blatant violation” of United Nations rules, and the matter is currently under investigation by Environment Canada. Experts contend that the project violates the UN’s convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities. Acc

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Halifax Woman Denied Religious Vanity Plate

A Nova Scotia woman says she’s shocked she was turned down her request for a personalized licence plate because of its religious message.

Rhonda Lynne Cormier-Clarke wanted to use the acronym ‘IXOYE’, which means, in Greek, Jesus Christ Son of God and Saviour. She was surprised by the reaction she received from a woman at the Service Nova Scotia counter.

“She said ‘oh you won’t be able to have that, I can guarantee it’s banned,’“ said Cormier-Clarke. “And she said, yes red flagged, anything that has a religious connotation is banned.”

Cormier-Clarke said her choice of plate wasn’t meant to be disrespectful.

“I’m just sharing my heart, my beliefs. I actually thought, you know, IXOYE, it’s quiet, but it’s my truth. It’s not putting it right out there.”

The incident has left her questioning why the government would ban something that she says doesn’t mean any harm.

“Is there religious freedom? That’s the question,” said Cormier-Clarke. “It’s like they’re putting their focus on the wrong area. It’s a licence plate. I’m not saying anything mean.”

The Minister responsible for Service Nova Scotia — the department that issues licence plates — doesn’t know what Ixoye means.

“The personalized licence plates, I think to my knowledge, are anything except politics and religion,” said John MacDonell…

           — Hat tip: LS[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

89-Year-Old German Indicted in Italy for WWII Massacre

Alfred Stork ‘ordered execution of 117 Italian officers’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 19 — A Rome military court on Friday indicted an 89-year-old former German officer for alleged involvement in the massacre of thousands of Italian soldiers on the Greek island of Cephalonia in World War II.

The suspect, ex-corporal Alfred Stork, should be called to trial for ordering the execution of ‘at least 117 Italian officers’ after they surrendered, said Rome Prosecutor Marco De Paolis, who claimed to have material evidence for his case.

Among his evidence is an alleged 2005 confession in which he told German prosecutors he was a member of one of the two execution platoons.

The incident was just one episode amid a much larger massacre which came after the 1943 armistice between Italy and the Allies that instructed Italian troops to switch sides.

After news of the September 8 armistice filtered across to the island on September 14, 1943, General Antonio Gandin told each of his men in the Acqui division to follow his own conscience and choose between three alternatives: fight on alongside the Germans, surrender his weapons, or keep them and resist German attacks.

Over the next eight days, 1,300 men died in battle, 5,155 were shot after being taken prisoner, and 3,000 drowned when a ship carrying them to Nazi concentration camps sank.

The bodies of 200 men were tossed down a well, from which they were only recovered and sent back home a few months before former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi’s visit in 2001.

To the outrage of Italy, a German court cleared then 86-year-old former lieutenant Otmar Muhlhauser of war-crime charges in 2006.

Deceased in 2009, he was believed to be the last survivor of the Werhmacht regiment which carried out the massacre, and he reportedly admitted he had personally ordered the execution of hundreds of soldiers including General Gandin.

The incident forms the backdrop to the best-selling 1994 novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which became a film in 2001 starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Denmark: Racism Charges Against Teacher Dropped

An Odense headteacher has been reported to the police for racially abusing some of her Muslim students — Pia Kjærsgaard finds the situation ridiculous

UPDATE, 19.10.12, 09:40: Shaib Mansoor, the father of one of the children racially rebuked by headteacher Birgitte Sonsby and the man who reported Sonsby to the police, has dropped his charges. Mansoor said that the media attention around the charges succeeded in creating a debate about the issue. And even though he has dropped the charges, he still expects that Sonsby get sacked from her job. “I wanted to establish a debate and make people realise that there is a problem. It is the only way to get the attention of the politicians,” Mansoor told Ritzau.

ORIGINAL, 17.10.12, 13:42: Birgitte Sonsby, a headteacher from Funen, has been reported to the police and faces disciplinary action from the council after verbally abusing a group of young immigrant boys who had behaved badly in class. The situation, which occurred about a fortnight ago, took place in the headteacher’s office at Ejerslykkeskolen School in Odense. “I’m so bloody tired of you Muslims ruining the teaching lessons,” Sonsby said to a group of immigrant boys who had found themselves in her office after being unruly in class, according to Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper.

Sonsby later apologised to the families for her choice of words, but said that she didn’t believe that her outburst was racist. “A situation arose in the classroom and some children needed to be reprimanded. They started laughing at me and I lost control. I said some things that I deeply regret and I apologise,” Sonsby told Fyens Stiftstidende. But the apology apparently wasn’t enough for Shaib Mansoor, the father of one of the kids, who has reported Sonsby to the police for racism. “This is way over the line. Of course, my son should be punished when he behaves poorly. But what she said was racist,” Mansoor told Fyens Stiftstidende.

Odense Council’s school inspector, Poul Anthoniussen, described Sonsby’s words as “completely unacceptable” and has summoned her to a meeting at the council next week. Pia Kjærsgaard (Dansk Folkeparti), who stepped down as DF’s leader in the summer, showed that she was still very much alive politically, saying that the debacle had become “ridiculous”. “It’s crazy that the police have to get involved in such a case. I am so affronted on the headteacher’s behalf that she has to meet at the council, and whatever else might happen, because of this nonsense,” Kjærsgaard told Fyens Stiftstidende. “She apologised already. Anyone can say something wrong without thinking sometimes.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Denmark: Taxi Driver Gets 14 Years for Mosque Shooting

The jury did not believe the explanation that Janaid Iqbal acted in self defence when he shot victim over a dozen times

Janaid Iqbal, 28, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Thursday for his role in the murder of 24-year-old Tamur Asghar outside a mosque on Amerikavej in Vesterbro last year.

Iqbal was also shot twice, in the stomach and buttocks, during the incident, before jumping into a car that drove him to a hospital in Malmö, Sweden. The police said that shots were fired from at least three weapons at the scene. Iqbal claimed in court that he had been shot first and was acting in self defence and in a state of shock when he killed Asghar. But the jury believed the prosecution’s argument that it was a planned execution and that Iqbal had shot first. Some of the shots were fired only 75 centimetres from the victim. Iqbal immediately appealed the court’s decision. “We don’t agree with the judgement of the evidence in the case. They haven’t accounted for the unique situation that my client found himself in,” Rolf Lindegaard Gregersen, Iqbal’s defence lawyer, told metroXpress newspaper.

Iqbal and Asghar grew up on the same street, Saxogade in Vesterbro, but found themselves at the heart of a family feud that ultimately culminated in the murder of two people. On 30 August 2011, following an argument between Asghar and Iqbal’s father and uncle outside the mosque, Iqbal pulled a gun and shot Asghar between 12 and 14 times. Mohammad Shakil, Iqbal’s uncle who drove with him to Malmö after the shooting, was himself shot and killed last month, after he had closed his kiosk on Enghavevej on Vesterbro for the night.

The police believe that Shakil’s murder was retaliation for the killing of Asghar.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Dutch Proposal to Search and Destroy Foreign Computers

On 15 October, the Dutch ministry of Justice and Security proposed powers for the police to break into computers, install spyware, search computers and destroy data. These powers would extend to computers located outside the Netherlands. Dutch digital rights movement Bits of Freedom warns for the unacceptable risks to cybersecurity and calls on other countries to strongly oppose the proposal.

Three new powers: spy, search and destroy

The proposal (Dutch, PDF) would grant powers to the Dutch police to break into computers, including mobile phones, via the internet in order to:

  • install spyware, allowing the police to overtake the computer;
  • search data on the computer, including data on computers located in other countries; and
  • destroy data on the computer, including data on computers located in other countries.

If the location of the computer cannot be determined, for example in the case of Tor-hidden services, the police is not required to submit a request for legal assistance to another country before breaking in. Under the current text, it is uncertain whether a legal assistance request would be legally required, or merely preferred, if the location of the computer is known. The exercise of these powers requires a warrant from a Dutch court.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Expose: Europe Turns Churches Into Mosques

Bouchra Ismaili, a Rotterdam city councilman: “Listen up, crazy freaks, we’re here to stay. You’re the foreigners here, with Allah on my side I’m not afraid of anything. Take my advice: convert to Islam, and you will find peace”.

From Giulio Meotti

The Middle East is full of churches turned into Islamic sites, like the Umayyad in Damascus, the Ibn Tulun in Cairo and the cathedral of St.. Sophia in Instanbul.

In Hevron and on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the Muslims built their sites on the Jewish ones.

A sad prophecy of the writer Emile Cioran once cast a sinister prophecy on Europe: “The French will not wake up until Notre Dame becomes a mosque”.

This is now a reality. But unlike the Middle East, where non-Muslim sites were razed or violently converted to Islam, in Europe this process is voluntary.

The church of Saint-Eloi in the French region of Vierzon will soon become a mosque. The diocese of Bourges has put on sale the church and a Muslim organization, l’Association des Marocains, made the most generous offer to buy the site.

The church of Saint-Eloi is located in an area inhabited by Turks and Moroccans. It’s the “de-Christianization” of Europe, which is naturally followed by its gradual Islamization and increasing anti-Semitism. Of 27.000 inhabitants in the town of Vierzon, only 300 go to church once a week.

In the past decade, French Catholic bishops formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which are destined to become mosques, according to the research conducted by the newspaper La Croix.

According to a recent report of the US Pew Center, Islam is already “the fastest-growing religion in Europe,” where the number of Muslims has tripled over the past 30 years. One third of all European children will be born to Muslim families by 2025.

Demography is the most important symptom of exhaustion: without a cradle, you can’t sustain a civilization.

To understand this historic process one has to see the number of churches converted into mosques.

In the Netherlands, more than 250 buildings where Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists have prayed for centuries, have changed owners. Like the Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam, which once was a Catholic church, the Saint Ignatius. Or the church of S. Vincentius, which was put on sale along with the benches, the crucifixes and the chandeliers. Today more than half of the Dutch population is “buitenkerkelijk”, it means free from any religious affiliation, as well as Catholics decreased by 70 percent.

Islam is now considered the “most widely practiced religion” in the Netherlands. The Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, built in 1309, stands solidly in the heart of downtown. Around it is the red-light district with the South American and Eastern European prostitutes knocking on the glass to attract the attention of passersby. The Neuwe Kerk, the church where the Dutch kings were crowned, is a museum. The only “church” in the city that is crowded is that of Scientology, which offers free stress tests.

4,400 church buildings remain in the Netherlands. Each week, two close their doors forever. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the al Aqsa Mosque.

In Duisburg, Germany, the Catholic church closed six churches. In Marxloh, the only church that survives, that of St. Peter and Paul, will close at the end of 2012. In Germany 400 churches have been closed.

The municpality of Antwerp, Belgium, proposed to transform the empty churches into mosques. Scandinavia lives the same phenomenon. To cite one case, the Swedish churches of St. Olfos is used by the Muslims. The main mosque in Dublin is a former Presbyterian church.

In England, 10.000 churches have been closed since 1960. By 2020, another 4.000 churches will close while there will be, it is predicted, 1.700 new mosques, many of which will arise on former churches.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

France: Génération Identitaire’s ‘War’ Takes Shape

by Colin Liddell

After my earlier article about them, I am particularly pleased to report that Génération Identitaire are not just some feelgood Facebook group, but are also prepared to take strong action for what they believe in. News is emerging from France — via the internet, not the mainstream media — that a group of around 60 to 100 GI members have occupied the Great Mosque of Poitiers, a building that is apparently unfinished, and are calling for a national referendum on immigration and mosque building. Here is a rough translation of part of the group’s press release…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

From the Great Mosque of Poitiers, Génération Identitaire Call to Reconquest!

One hundred of young men and women from all France just entered the Great Mosque of Poitiers and occupy its roofs. On the front, face to the minaret, we unrolled a banner where one can read a clear message : " Immigration, building of mosques : REFERENDUM ! "

Through this important action, Génération Identitaire aims to be in the first line of the fight for our identity.

1300 years ago, Charles Martel stopped Arabs in Poitiers after an heroic battle which save our country from the Muslim invasion. It was the October 25th of 732. Today, we’re on 2012 and the choice is still the same : live free or die. Our generation refuse to see her people and her identity disappear through indifference. We’ll never be the Native Indians of Europe. From this place, important symbol of our past and bravery of our ancestors, we call to memory and fight !

We don’t want extra-European immigration anymore, nor buildings of mosques on french soil. Since the first waves of African immigration and the law about reunification of foreign worker’s families in 1974, our people was never been consulted about the populations one oblige him to live with. Massive immigration radically transform our country : according to the recent work of INSEE (National Institute of Statistics), 43% of the 18-50 years old people from the region of Paris are immigrant or descendants of immigrants. A people can recover from an economic crisis or a war but not from the replacement of his native population : without French, there’s no more France. It is a matter of survival : that’s why every people has the absolute right to choose if he wants to welcome strangers and to determine its proportion.

Because this right has been denied to us, because our generation pay the top price for this situation by being subjected to the intimidations from delinquents, we say : enough ! We don’t move back anymore ! We reclaim a national consultation about immigration and building of mosques in France. We won’t leave this place until before being listened and satisfied.

Our fight has only just begun, we call the young Europeans to become heirs of their fate and to join the advance guard of the youth who stands tall.

May all Europe hear our call : RECONQUEST !

           — Hat tip: Génération Identitaire[Return to headlines]

Greek Neo-Nazi Group Doubles in Popularity

(AGI) The Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has doubled its consensus, becoming the third most popular political party in the country with 15% of the vote. This according to a recent survey, which also shows that one in three Greek citizens (34.6%) does not intend to vote and only 5% plan to vote for the Pasok socialist party. Protests against austerity measures imposed by the IMF and the EU have led to the rise of radical left group Syriza, currently Greece’s leading party with 30.5% of the vote (a 4.5% increase compared to last June’s election results). Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ centre right group falls from 29.1% to 27% as a result of unpopular austerity measures, and the socialists are at an all-time low with just 5% of the vote. Golden Dawn is an extreme right-wing group led by ex-army official Nikolaos Mijaloliakos. The group won almost 7% of the vote in the June elections, bringing the fifth-largest group of MPs into Parliament.

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

Ireland: Mosque Proposed for Clongriffin

DUBLIN CITY planners are to meet public representatives on proposals for a €65 million, mixed-use development based around a new Islamic cultural centre on the city’s northern fringe. The council is currently considering a planning application which includes a large mosque, a 34 classroom school, conference centre, assembly hall, playground and swimming pool on the site in Clongriffin…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italian Doctors Probed for ‘Taking Bribes to Push Pills’

Dozens of offices raided in nationwide sweep

(ANSA) — Rome, October 17 — Italian police on Wednesday raided offices of 67 doctors in a nationwide sweep into alleged kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company. The doctors are accused of accepting large sums of money, vacations abroad and assorted bribes. Investigators did not name the pharmaceuticals company, which allegedly paid over half a million euros in kickbacks to promote their medicine over the competition.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Province PDL Chief Probed for Graft

Sandro Sisler ‘suspected of taking kickbacks’

(ANSA) — Milan, October 19 — The head of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party in the province of Milan, Sandro Sisler, was placed under investigation Friday on suspicion of taking kickbacks.

Police carried out searches in several of Sisler’s homes and offices.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Set to Renew PDL/Northern League Alliance

(AGI) Milan — Speaking to ‘Servizio Publico’ in Milan while attending a hearing for the “Ruby” case, and addressing an alliance with the Northern League, Berlusconi said it seemed “obvious” because “in order to win we must be as strong as possible.” The former prime minister also added, “It seems to me absolutely necessary for all moderate parties to join forces.” ..

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

Luxembourg: HRH Princess Lalla Salma Takes Part in Luxembourg in Gala Dinner Offered by Grand Ducal Family

Luxembourg — HRH Princess Lalla Salma took part, on Friday, in a gala dinner offered by the Grand Ducal family on the occasion of the marriage of HRH Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy. The gala dinner was organized at the Grand Ducal palace, the official residence of Luxembourg’s sovereign since 1890. Many representatives of reigning and non reigning monarchies were invited to this Gala dinner attended by the newly-weds, the Grand Ducal family and the Lannoy family…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Northern Scotland Goes From Nuclear to Wind and Waves

The sparsely populated region of Caithness in northern Scotland once relied heavily on the development of nuclear energy for electric power and for job creation. Now wind and wave energy are set to take over.

A ferry has docked at the pier in Scrabster, the northernmost harbour on the British mainland. It takes just 90 minutes to get from here to the Scottish archipelago of Orkney when the weather is good. The sea in between is called the Pentland Firth, one of the world’s wildest stretches of water. It’s known for its high winds and strong currents. But, it is these elements that could secure the future of the region, in the form of renewable energy.

Thirteen kilometers (eight miles) along the coast, a white dome rises up behind a high-security fence. Dounreay, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of London, was chosen as the site for a nuclear facility back in 1955. While protesters in the cities warned of the risks, a lot of people up here were grateful for thousands of new jobs and the investment that came with the project. Fishermen sold their boats and took jobs at the new plant.

Now the whole region here, Caithness, is about to enter a new era. Dounreay is to be completely decommissioned by 2023. More than 2,000 jobs will be lost. This, in an area with a population of just 26,000. “One job in three is dependent on Dounreay in one way or another”, says Trudy Morris, Chief executive of the Caithness Chamber of Commerce.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Schoolgirl Gets Revenge on Cocky Boy by Blasting Football Directly at His Face… Causing Him to Cry in Front of His Classmates

The clip shows a class of pupils at a Norway school bending over while a girl takes aim with a football.

But one cheeky boy pupil refuses to bend down and instead stands half-turning towards the girl trying to put her off by wriggling his bottom at her.

But the girl gets her revenge when she hoofs the ball at them and wallops the boy straight in the face.

The stunned youngster clutches his face and walks around the gym in a daze while everyone around him bursts out laughing.

Even the adult supervisors can be heard erupting into fits of giggles as the freak shot smashes into the boy.

[Comments: This is not funny. Brain injuries occur frequently in soccer. Why are they just lining up, bent over like that? This looks like a Norwegian politically correct version of Dodge Ball.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Police Investigating the Shooting of a British Family in the French Alps Believe the Cyclist Also Found Dead at the Scene Was Shot First, According to a Leaked Provisional Scenario.

Sylvain Mollier was hit by the first bullets, the report leaked to the French Le Parisien newspaper suggests. The killer then shot Saad al-Hilli, his wife and mother-in-law while they sat in their car.

French investigators suggest the killer was acting alone.

The family, from Surrey, were on a camping holiday on the shores of Lake Annecy when they were killed.

The report details how forensic tests suggest Mr Hilli was outside the car with his seven-year-old daughter Zeinab when the shooting started and had attempted to escape with his family before being shot, the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says.

In panic, Mr Hilli reversed the car into a bank of earth surrounding the remote car park above the hamlet of Chevaline, the report suggests, trapping the back axle and preventing his escape.

Zeinab was also shot in the shoulder and was struck with the gun, but survived.

The killer then returned to Mr Mollier, who had been wounded by the first shots, police believe.

The killer apparently missed her four-year-old sister Zeena who was found hiding under the skirts of her dead mother and grandmother the following day.

Police described the killer as behaving ruthlessly, but without much logic, a pattern of behaviour they suggest is not consistent with a professional hitman.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Ryanair Investigated for Evading Italian National Insurance

Prosecutors say contributions are paid in Dublin while employees take advantage of INPS-funded healthcare

BERGAMO — Mister Ryanair is in trouble with the law. The Bergamo public prosecutor’s office has entered the names of airline CEO Michael O’Leary and his director of legal affairs Juliusz Komorek in the register of individuals under investigation. Prosecutor Maria Mocciaro alleges failure to pay national insurance contributions for 220 employees hired in Dublin but based at Orio al Serio by applying Irish taxation, which is much lower than Italy’s. According to the Bergamo provincial employment directorate (DPL), the loss to the Italian public purse is of the order of €12 million. Inspectors believe this figure, based on a list of names furnished by Ryanair, is an underestimate. According to the border police database, some 900 Ryanair employees passed through Bergamo airport from 2003 to 2010. This means that the total evaded could be much higher, although part can no longer be collected because a time-bar will come into force.

The Italian legal system’s spotlight is now turning on the giant Irish low-cost carrier following the Bergamo DPL’s report in late 2011 to INPS, the social security institute, on alleged irregularities in Ryanair employees’ status. The Dublin-based airline, which has always maintained that it is under no obligation to pay Italian taxes as it has no permanent service organisation in Italy, had 90 days to correct its position. Payment of contributions in arrears would have annulled the offence. No payment was forthcoming as Ryanair is convinced it is right. Mr O’Leary maintains that his crews operate on board Irish aircraft and do not undertake any working activities in Italy: no Italian contributions are due.

The public prosecutor’s office takes a different view. Other non-domestic airlines with a presence in Italy, such as Lufthansa and Air France Italia, hire workers under Italian regulations. Ryanair contracts, however, are signed in Dublin, where taxation on wages is an average of 12% against the Italian figure of 37%.

In practice, Ryanair employees are hired under Irish law but work in Italy, where they live — one of the requirements for employment is residence less one hour away from the airport — and where they, along with their families, benefit from healthcare services. This is the point that prosecutors are looking to investigate. For the time being, the question has not been included in the case file but Bergamo-based financial police are carrying out exploratory inquiries. Ryanair workers would apply to INPS for an A1 form, a certificate entitling them to healthcare. The A1 form enables a Ryanair worker requiring healthcare abroad to obtain it without paying.

But the care is not free. The bill is sent subsequently to the country that granted the healthcare insurance certificate, in this case Italy. Prosecutors maintain that in addition to paying its taxes in Dublin, Ryanair unlawfully passed its healthcare costs onto the Italian healthcare system. Was the company aware of this? According to the inspectors, the answer is yes because the INPS certificate has to be sent to Ryanair’s personnel office. It remains to be seen why some INPS offices were issuing the certificates improperly for years. By the time the anomaly came to light, more than 800 certificates had already been handed out. At the expense of Italy’s unwitting taxpayers.

Riccardo Nisoli

16 ottobre 2012 | 13:32

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

Spain Seeks to Outlaw Filming Cops

Weeks after footage showed police beating demonstrators

The law would also make it illegal for protesters to cover their faces, undoubtedly an effort to make them easier to identify. Cops who disguise their identity in full riot gear and helmets would not be held to the same standard.

The new law arrives in the immediate aftermath of protests across the country last month which highlighted numerous instances of Spanish police beating demonstrators with batons and using smoke bullets in confined spaces.

Presumably, the government is not seeking to limit such brutality, but rather the ability for such actions to be recorded and later seen by millions on television news and You Tube.

Although police in other countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States routinely attempt to intimidate onlookers and protesters by claiming that filming cops is against the law, every time the issue goes to court it is vehemently underscored that this is not the case.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘They Ignore Us’ — Women Say They Are Second-Class Citizens at Dundee Central Mosque

Women who worship at Dundee Central Mosque claim an all-male committee sees them as “second class citizens” over urgent safety worries.

Mothers say they fear for their children’s safety because wall-mounted lights are not always switched on at the womens’ entrance. However, the mosque’s vice-chairman has dismissed the claim of women being second-class citizens as “ absolute rubbish”. One worshipper, Fatima, who asked her second name is not revealed, said: “It’s so dark you can’t even tell where you are. Sometimes I can’t see the children when they come out of religious studies classes…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Dangerous Offender’ Who Raped Six-Year-Old Girl on Several Occasions in Ilford is Locked Up for Five Years

Laeif Patel, 22, of Sackville Gardens, Ilford, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of four counts of raping a child under 13 and three counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, following an 11-day trial in September.

Brian St Louis, defending Patel, said he was “sexually immature” at the time of the attacks because of his age.

He said: “There is no evidence that he has committed any sexual crimes at all apart from these matters in his teenage years.”

He said Patel has a fiancé of five years who he is looking forward to marrying after serving his sentence.

He was handed an extended licence period of two-and-a-half years.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: A Note to Our Commentators on the Subject of Free Speech

by Tom Chivers

It’s a funny thing. You write a piece saying that the state shouldn’t outlaw rudeness and insults, and about one comment in three underneath it says: “Aha! But Telegraph Blogs sometimes moderates/disallows comments! How about THAT, eh, hypocrites?”

Well, my eagle-eyed friends, you’ve certainly caught us out. We, the autocratic rulers of Telegraphuania, are indeed clamping down on the free speech of our downtrodden inhabitants. We are carrying protesters off to the cells underneath the cuttings library and locking them up without trial, simply for waving a banner saying “Down with the EUSSR” or “Multi Kulti Bad”. Our gangs of jackbooted thugs roam the streets, hunting for anyone who dares mock the Prophet, dragging them from their homes and beating them with rolled-up copies of the Guardian Weekend magazine. My face, eyes blazing, adorns posters on every city block, looking sternly down on anyone who might think — even for a moment — of allowing a politically incorrect thought to cross his or her mind. Because a blog site not wanting to host unpleasant comments on its website is exactly the same as the state crushing dissent…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: EDL Chief ‘Arrested’

THE leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon, was believed to be among 53 members of the far right group arrested yesterday.

EDL sources said they were planning a surprise demo in Whitechapel, east London.

Last week Lennon, 29, tweeted: “Its death prison or glory. We shall not submit #nosurrender”

Dozens of police in riot vans swooped on vehicles carrying EDL members on the M1 near Luton, Beds, in what officers called a “pre-event investigation”.

The extremist group had been planning a protest next Saturday in Walthamstow, north-east London.

A similar protest in the area in September ended in violence with 20 arrests.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Freedom of Information Act: The Pursuit of Transparency is Leading to Dishonesty and Intrigue

by Charles Moore

The nincompoops who brought in FoI have allowed the political elite to leave no trace of the decision-making process of government

‘You idiot. You naïve, foolish, irresponsible, nincompoop.” That is Tony Blair’s description of Tony Blair, on page 516 of his memoirs. Last month, the former home secretary, Jack Straw, published his memoirs, Last Man Standing. He, too, indulges in severe self-criticism. Mr Straw describes an Act which he (reluctantly) introduced as “showing the signs of its wholly inadequate conception and implementation”…

[JP note: In addition, both men might be advised to reflect on their policy of appeasing Islam.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Hospitals’ £1bn in Parking Charges in Only Ten Years

Hospital car parks have raked in more than £1billion from patients, relatives and staff in the last ten years, figures revealed yesterday.

Drivers are now stumping up £160million a year in charges — more than double the amount of a decade ago.

One in four hospital trusts raise at least £1million a year in fees, with some pocketing nearly £4million. Critics describe the charges as a ‘tax on the sick’ and have called for them to be abolished.

England is the only country in the UK where hospitals still charge for parking — Scotland and Wales outlawed the practice in 2009.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Takeaways Should Say if Their Meat is Halal, Says Campaigner

A MAN is calling for all Bournemouth cafes and takeaways to be obliged to say whether their meat is slaughtered by Muslim rules. Animal rights campaigner Gary Hazel claimed some of the methods used are “very cruel” and people should be able to make an informed choice. Jewish and Muslim communities are exempt from a law that requires animals to be stunned before their throats are cut. The RSPCA said that Muslim interpretations differ and sometimes the animals are stunned and sometimes they are not…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: The End of Mitchell Spells the End for Leveson

by Paul Goodman

Strictly speaking, it was not the lobby and the media that forced Andrew Mitchell’s resignation yesterday. It was the unprecedented meeting of Wednesday’s 1922 Committee, which found itself discussing whether or not he should continue as Chief Whip: the very fact that such a conversation took place at all made his position impossible. But that meeting’s event only took place because the Police Federation had kept the Mitchell story going for the best part of a month. And the story had been kept going for that period because the lobby and the media made it happen…

It’s worth noting that the man who can claim to have turned the tide against Leveson is a politician, though admittedly one who is also a journalist: Michael Gove. It was the Education Secretary’s exquisitely polite but unremittingly defiant evidence to Leveson that signalled a Government retreat from the enquiry that Mr Cameron himself had set up. The Jimmy Savile scandal looks to speed that backing-off: a free media is needed, the argument runs, precisely in order to bring people like Savile to book (something, by the way, that it singularly failed to do in that case). The right-of-centre media is running with the Savile story not only to bash the BBC or because it is compelling in its own right: it is sending a powerful signal about Leveson. I suspect that the judge himself knows that the bulk of his report is destined for the circular filing cabinet. And the Mitchell affair has given the media the chance to send a reminder to the Prime Minister: don’t you dare take us on.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Wales: Cardiff Hit and Run Rampage Kills Mother and Injures 10 More

Tributes have been paid to a woman killed in a hit and run rampage which saw pedestrians knocked down one after another.

Eyewitnesses told of their horror after watching a van mount the kerb at a number of locations in Cardiff in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to harm people. The dead woman — named locally as Karina Menzies, a 32-year-old mother — was among seven children and four adults hurt during the afternoon. She died after being knocked down outside a fire station in the Welsh capital. On Friday night police were questioning a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder as well as combing the crime scenes for evidence. As news of the incident filtered through to stunned communities across the city, tributes were paid to Miss Menzies on social networking sites. Facebook user Katy Johanna Benson wrote: “Rest in piece Karina Menzies. Sleep tight beautiful angel and may the scum responsible for this senseless, evil murder be brought to justice. Can’t imagine what her family are feeling.”

South Wales Police received calls about an incident in Crossways Road in Ely at 3.30pm. There were soon reports of hit-and-run collisions in several locations in the west of the city, including Grand Avenue, Cowbridge Road West and the Leckwith Retail Park. Ely sub-postmaster Shady Taha, 29, had just served two girls and a young woman moments before one of the hit-and-runs in Grand Avenue, immediately outside a row of shops. He said the two girls aged about 10 and a woman in her mid-20s had been browsing the birthday cards in the store before buying a jar of coffee and leaving. He said: “All of a sudden I heard a bang. I looked out and across the road one girl was on the floor and the other girl was screaming. I heard a van speed off but I did not see it.”

Lynda Paterson, who lives on Cowbridge Road West, described the scene outside her house as chaotic. “I was going to pick my children up from school and I could see there were police and someone was lying on the floor, on the pavement,” she added. “I could see police running back and forth along the road and I now know a child had been hit.” Other eyewitnesses said pedestrians were deliberately targeted by someone driving a van. “We had a customer in our shop who said the van mounted the kerb like the driver wanted to run down young kids with their parents,” a female shop worker in Grand Avenue, who did not want to be named, said.

Ramesh Patel, who runs RM Patel Convenience Stores on Cowbridge Road West, said: “I was in the shop working at the time so I didn’t actually see anything but customers have said a white van purposely drove at people. Obviously, when someone tries to run you down deliberately that is frightening.” Harbhajan Dhaliwal, 42, runs a general and convenience food store in the road. He said: “People can’t understand what’s happened, some say the driver was drunk, others think he had some kind of breakdown at the wheel. Customers have said he was targeting people as they walked along.”

The A&E department at the University Hospital of Wales was initially shut to anyone not involved in the incident but it has now reopened. Dr Grahame Shortland, medical director at the hospital, said those being treated mostly had fractures and head injuries. Among the crimes scenes included Ely Fire Station, an area near the Merrie Harrier pub in Llandough on the outskirts of Cardiff where the suspect was arrested, and Leckwith Retail Park — next to the Cardiff City Stadium. Superintendent Julian Williams, of South Wales Police, confirmed the force had arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder. He said: “This is a tragic incident that has affected a large number of people, and we thank the people of Cardiff for their help and support. Incidents like this are extremely rare here, as they are across south Wales, and we want to reassure the public that a significant number of officers are working on the investigation, including a number of specialist resources. Whether the actions were deliberate or reckless is a matter for the inquiry and the person will obviously be spoken to.” South Wales Police is asking anyone with any information on the incidents to contact them on 01656 655555.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Wales: ‘It Was a Miracle’: Toddler Catapulted Into Air and Caught by Her Father as Hit-and-Run Van Driver ‘Mows Down’ Fourteen Innocent People in Just 30 Minutes

A toddler was catapulted into the air and caught by her father in a scene described as a ‘miracle’ after being hit by a van driver on a hit-and-run rampage yesterday.

Two-year-old Amelia-May Lewis, who was being pushed in a pram by her mother, Annie, 22, suffered injuries to her face, which left her covered in blood.

The driver mowed down pedestrians — including parents and young children — during a three-mile trail of mayhem during the school run.

A mother of three was killed and eleven others injured, two of whom were in intensive care last night.

In ‘absolutely chaotic’ scenes, the driver is said to have even reversed over some victims after hitting them.

The dead woman — named locally as Karina Menzies, 32, was among at least seven children and four adults hit by the van.

She died after being knocked down outside a fire station.

The survivors’ injuries included a broken leg and cuts and bruises.

Witnesses said the man hit pedestrians in the Ely and Leckwith areas of Cardiff at 3.30pm, when parents were picking children up from school.

Pedestrians tried to stop the Transit van but it mounted the pavement and sped off before the driver was eventually seized by police officers.

The local accident and emergency hospital unit was so overwhelmed it had to shut to any patients other than those injured by the van driver.

The commotion started after the white van tried to escape from the scene of a crash outside an Asda supermarket in Leckwith, witnesses said.

The vehicle sped off, driving at people walking home after school, careering wildly down suburban roads and on to pavements.

Among those knocked down were student Mrs Lewis, her husband Adam and daughter Amelia-May.

Mrs Lewis, who suffered a broken leg, was taken to hospital in one of the fleet of at least seven ambulances at one of the scenes in Ely.

The main accident and emergency hospital in Cardiff was closed last night to anyone apart from casualties being brought in after the spate of crashes.

Witness Anne Rahman, 62, told The Sun: ‘The dad caught her, it was a miracle. He was shaking’.

Adam’s grandmother, Maureen Lewis, 80, said: ‘It was total mayhem out there.

‘The driver of the white van was driving fast and furious at anyone in his path. Adam, Annie and Amelia were hit.’

She added: ‘Thank God they are alive. It is terrifying that so many people have been knocked down.’

Shopkeeper Phil Jones said: ‘People were rushing out of houses trying to help the injured people and covering them with blankets until the ambulances arrived.

‘The baby was covered in blood — people were just lying on the pavements.

‘He drove straight across four lanes of the road and smashed into a man and woman with their baby in a pushchair.

‘He just smashed into them before screaming round on the road and heading away.

‘In about 100 yards, he veered off the road and hit another two boys and a mother and a boy on a bike.’

Lynda Paterson, 34, said the scene outside her house was ‘chaotic’. She added: ‘I was going to pick my children up from school and I could see there were police and someone was lying on the floor, on the pavement.

‘I could see police running back and forth along the road and I now know there was a child who had been hit.’

Natalie Howell, 28, added: ‘I was on my way home from school when I saw the van. People tried blocking off the van to stop it driving off but he went up on the pavement and sped off.’

Gail Harford, 40, said: ‘The driver was not just running over people but reversing over them too. It’s too horrendous for words.’

Ely sub-postmaster Shady Taha, 29, had just served two girls and a young woman moments before one of the incidents outside a row of shops.

He said the two girls — aged about 10, and a woman in her mid-20s — had been browsing the birthday cards in the store before purchasing a jar of coffee and leaving.

He said: ‘All of a sudden I heard a bang. I looked out and across the road one girl was on the floor and the other girl was screaming.

‘I heard a van speed off but I did not see it.’

Other eyewitnesses said pedestrians were deliberately targeted by someone driving a white van.

‘We had a customer in our shop who said the van mounted the kerb like the driver wanted to run down young kids with their parents,’ a shop worker in Grand Avenue, who did not want to be named, said.

A spokesman for South Wales Police confirmed the force had arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

He said: ‘This is a tragic incident that has affected a large number of people, and we thank the people of Cardiff for their help and support.

‘Incidents like this are extremely rare here, as they are across South Wales, and we want to reassure the public that a significant number of officers are working on the investigation, including a number of specialist resources.

‘Whether the actions were deliberate or reckless is a matter for the inquiry and the person will obviously be spoken to.’

Dr Grahame Shortland, medical director at the University Hospital of Wales, said those being treated mostly had fractures and head injuries.

A spokesman for the hospital said two of the adults were in intensive care last night and their condition was stable but critical.

           — Hat tip: Seneca III[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Extemist Religions Threat to Cultural Heritage

sectarian violence leads to loss of history, Tunisian expert

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 17 — The exploitation of religion for political ends has brought with it the ongoing destruction of ancient religious monuments throughout southern Mediterranean countries, Tunisian urban conservationist Jellal Abdelkafi said at a Center for Mediterranean Europe Studies (MESEURO) conference on Wednesday.

“The exploitation of religions throughout the Mediterranean basin has become evident today,” Abdelkafi said on the sidelines of the conference, titled Mediterranean Heritage, a Motor for Development. “We cannot accept the destruction of mausoleums, the mutilation of mosques, the plundering of churches and synagogues. We cannot accept it, and that is a fundamental concept. If we have a cultural heritage, it is a global one and it belongs to everyone.” The radicalization of Islam in the Maghreb, the Islamization of Turkey, the Catholicization of Europe, the ongoing sectarian strife in Lebanon and the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict all contribute to the rise in iconoclastic violence.

“The time of religion without culture has arrived,” said Abdelkafi, quoting French political scientist Olivier Roy. “The three great monotheistic religions are engaged in a negative competition, and they are emptying religions of their history.

The destruction of a mausoleum means the will to destroy a historical mark.” Civil society is the only hope in the face of this particular kind of violence, says Abdelkafi. “In Tunisia, every time there is a drift towards sectarian violence, civil society reacts well: its ability to strive for consciousness is an element of hope,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

France 24 Journalist Sexually Assaulted in Cairo

FRANCE 24 journalist Sonia Dridi filed a police complaint with Egyptian police on Saturday, a day after she was sexually assaulted while reporting on a protest in the capital Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Dridi had just finished giving a live news report at around 10:30pm on Friday for FRANCE 24’s French language television when a crowd of men teemed around her, shoving and grabbing at her body.

“I was surrounded by my team, so I didn’t feel like I was in any particular danger,” Dridi told FRANCE 24 in a televised interview, saying that the camera crew had attracted a crowd of curious bystanders. “I was able to do my live report but at the end of it the atmosphere was really tense.”

“The crowd encircled us…It was mostly young men, but not only. They started to touch me and I held onto my colleague, who tried to reassure me and hold my attention so we could get out of the crowd as fast as possible,” Dridi added.

After a tense few moments, Ashraf Khalil, a correspondent for FRANCE 24’s English language television, was eventually able to rescue Dridi from the crowd.

On Saturday, FRANCE 24 announced that both journalists were safe and in good health. In a statement, the company also said that it “firmly condemns repeated acts of violence against journalists, who should be able to do their job freely anywhere in the world”.

It is far from the first time that a female journalist has been sexually assaulted while working in Cairo. Last year a number of women reported having been attacked while covering mass protests against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

How Stevens May Have Been Linked to Syria Jihadists

Ambassador was official U.S. liaison to al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition

(The Blaze) The details of the September 11 attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi are still murky and there’s certainly more to be known.

Former CIA officer Clare Lopez argues that the key issue is “the relationship of the U.S. government, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya with Al Qaeda.”

That relationship, Lopez argues, could be connected to the rise of Islamic brigades in Syria, who recently created a “Front to Liberate Syria” to wage jihad against the Syrian regime and turn the country into an Islamic state.

That potential connection starts with who Ambassador Stevens worked with during the Libyan revolution and ends with who he hosted on the night of his death.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Libya: Battle for Bani Walid Divides Population

The assault on the last stronghold of the tribes loyal to Gaddafi has already claimed 11 lives and dozens of wounded. The Misrata militias, historic rivals of the rais want to raze the city without the consent of the army, but they are increasingly isolated from the population. Sources tell AsiaNews acts of solidarity of hospitals and private citizens to aid the besieged population.

Tripoli (AsiaNews) — In the battle for the conquest of Bani Walid, the last stronghold of the tribes loyal to Gaddafi, there is no room for diplomacy. Last night, the Misrata militias blocked the diplomatic car of Megaryef Mohammed, president of the Libyan National Assembly, appointed by the government in a last effort at mediation with tribal leaders reluctant to surrender the city to the army considered too close to the rebels. The leaders of the Warfalla tribes, to which Gaddafi belonged and the largest in Libya, fear for their lives, citing the massacre of Tawarga, another city loyal to Gaddafi razed in October 2011 by the Misrata militias.

The siege of the last stronghold loyal to the regime, however, is dividing Libya. Sources tell AsiaNews that external forces are at work to keep the country in chaos and prevent a true reconciliation. “The Libyans — they explain — especially young people, are tired of war, which has brought the country back 50 years and sparked fratricidal hate between families.” Following the example of the people of Benghazi, on October 16, several young men of Misurata stormed arms depots in the hands of militias that control the city. The action slowed down the attack on Bani Walid for a few days, which is considered by many as “a pointless bloodshed.”

Against the guerrillas’ weapons, many Libyans are responding with gestures of solidarity towards their fellow citizens. AsiaNews sources confirm that several cities anonymously sent aid to the Gaddafi stronghold. In recent days, the hospitals of Tripoli, Misurata and Benghazi have it delivered to a small neutral delegation packages with medicine, food and basic necessities. “The delivery — specify the sources — occurred in secret. The people are afraid of the militia and fear reprisals.” In parallel to military initiatives, associations and humanitarian organizations run by young Libyans are also growing. The most recent is the organization “No Name — No limits” founded on 12 September in Tripoli to help families affected by the war, without distinction of tribes or factions.

The struggle to defeat the remnants of tribes loyal to Gaddafi began on October 17 without the permission of the army, and has already cost 11 dead and hundreds injured. The attack took place a year after the liberation of the city by the Islamist rebels of Misrata. They have laid siege to the birthplace of Gaddafi since September and have announced they will avenge the death of Omar ben Shaaban, 22, mastermind of Gaddafi’s capture, who was killed Sept. 25 by the guerrillas of Bani Walid. (S.C.)

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

Libya: Bean Bag Diplomacy

Another foreign policy disaster. Another attempt at cover up. It’s just more of the lessons being learned from the September 11 Benghazi assassination of four Americans.

The foreign policy of the Obama administration is as delusional as their views on self-defense.

Generally, liberals are more afraid of possessing the means of self-defense than they are of being attacked by thugs. We not only see this in their foreign policy, but in the way they choose to govern here at home, as well.

Consider that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet — the southern border “has never been more secure than in recent years” — Napolitano imposed the rules of engagement that contributed significantly to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 15, 2010.

Namely, Napolitano’s “wisdom” required our warriors on the front line of our southern border war to fire a bean bag round before firing a real bullet. Evidently a real bullet might destabilize the “never been more secure” Mexican border.

On Brian Terry’s last night on this earth, his team encountered an armed cartel rip crew out to steal the cargo of rival smugglers. Terry’s first shot was his bean bag round. The next shot was from a smuggler, and Terry ended up dead.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: UGTT and CGTT Strongly Condemn Violent Incidents in Tataouine

Tunis — The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the Tunisian General Labour Confederation (CGTT) forcefully condemn Thursday’s violent incidents in Tataouine which caused the death of Tunisian Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Union (URAP) Secretary-General and Nida Tounes co-ordinator Lotfi Naqdh.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Finn-Swede Estelle Approaches Gaza Coastline, Finnish MFA Warns That They Will Not Get Involved…

Oh, and the Finnish state radio/television news station, YLE, reminds the public that nine Turkish IHH members were killed in a similar event 2 years ago, but fails to provide the necessary context, that they were heavily armed with steel clubs and chains and knives.

UPDATE: I just heard that there hasn’t been any word from the ship for an hour, no doubt the IDF has silenced its radio traffic, perhaps are even on board.

UPDATE II: YLE using outlandish headline: Israel is preparing to attack Estelle


Apparently Dror Feiler, an ex-Israeli is the one saying that they are under attack and preparing to defend the vessel, this is from the Swedish activist site, Ships to Gaza. apparently it took place 17 Nautical Miles north of Arish, Egypt.

YLE changes its headline to: Israeli troops ready to board Estelle. (YLE does in fact monitor this blog).

UPDATE: III: Dror Feiler says that the ship’s crew will “defend their boat with their bodies” to Finnish YLE journalist via telephone interview.

An IDF spokesperson says: Ship intercepted, and on the way to Ashdod. So it’s bvious that Dror Feiler didn’t back up his tough sounding words, and meekly complied to the Israeli IDF’s instructions once they were aboard.

IDF blog has more here…

           — Hat tip: JH[Return to headlines]

Israeli Navy Intercepts Gaza-Bound Ship

GAZA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) — Israeli navy on Saturday intercepted a Finnish-flagged boat carrying pro-Palestinian international activists about 40 miles away from the Gaza Strip’s coast, a Palestinian official said. “The crew of Estelle said that a number of Israeli vessels surrounded the boat in the regional waters,” said Mustafa al- Barghouti of the Palestinian National Initiative. He was speaking from the West Bank on telephone and was on constant contact with the activists onboard…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israeli Navy Boards ‘Estelle’ Gaza-Bound Ship

Navy seizes ship carrying 30 pro-Palestinian activists to prevent it from breaking Gaza blockade; soldiers take control of ship peacefully, without force; ship rerouted to Israel’s southern port of Ashdod.

The Israeli navy boarded the Gaza-bound “Estelle” ship seeking to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, an army spokesperson confirmed at 11:40 am on Saturday.

The army said the soldiers seized control of the ship, which is carrying pro-Palestinian activists, in accordance with the government’s decision and international law, diplomatic efforts to prevent the vessel from reaching Gaza’s shore had failed.

“When the passengers made it clear that they would not cooperate or accept the invitation to sail to southern port of Ashdod, it was decided to seize the vessel and rerouted to the Ashdod,” the army said in a statement.

“The Navy force operated as planned to guarantee the safety of the soldiers and passengers on the deck. The soldiers did not use force while seizing the ship, and gave the activists food and water,” the IDF confirmed.

The army added that once the ship reaches Ashdod the passengers will be handed over to police and immigration authorities.

The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said earlier on Saturday.

The IDF confirmation follows initial reports quoting a spokeswoman of the “Estelle” claiming the ship had “come under attack” from the IDF on Saturday…

[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Beirut Bomb Blast Kills Lebanon’s Most Senior Intelligence Official

Lebanon’s most senior intelligence official and at least seven others were killed on Friday when a car bomb ripped through a crowded Beirut street in an attack immediately blamed on Syria.

Gen Wissam al-Hassan, the head of Lebanon’s internal security forces and a known thorn in the side of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, was fatally injured when the bomb detonated outside one of his homes. The blast in the predominantly Christian quarter of central Beirut resulted in scenes reminiscent of the dark days of Lebanon’s civil war. Ambulances ferried scores of dead and wounded to hospitals, where doctors struggled to cope with the influx of bloodied victims. Within an hour Sunni Muslims took to the streets in protest, burning tyres in strongholds throughout the capital and in the eastern Bekaa Valley region. Last night some of Lebanon’s most senior politicans openly accused the Assad regime of murdering the intelligence chief. “We accuse Bashar al-Assad of the assassination of Wissam al-Hassam, the guarantor of the security of the Lebanese,” Saad Hariri, the former prime minister and opposition leader, told a Lebanese television station…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Iran: Mosque Suicide Bomber Kills Two Basij

Suicide bomber detonated his explosives at mosque in Chabahar, killing two Basij militiamen.

TEHRAN — A suicide bomb outside a Shiite mosque in Iran killed two Basij militiamen and wounded five people, in an area that has been the target of deadly attacks by Sunni rebels in recent years, media reported. “Two Basijis were killed and five other people were wounded” when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the mosque in Chabahar, in Sistan-Baluchestan province, said Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi, according to ISNA news agency…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Iraq: Gunfire Attacks Kill 3 in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) — Attacks by unidentified gunmen killed three people in Baghdad on Saturday morning and Friday night, including a high-ranking security official, police sources said. One attack happened in Basateen area northeast of Baghdad on Saturday morning when gunmen shot dead two employees of the Ministry of Justice, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. On Friday night, unidentified gunmen attacked and killed a police lieutenant colonel working in the Directorate of Passport as he was on his way home in the Karrada district of central Baghdad. In a separate incident, gunmen attacked a lawyer’s home on Saturday morning in Albuaath area east of Ramadi, the capital city of Anbar province west of Baghdad, and shot him dead, a different source said. Violence in Iraq has ebbed since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian slaughtering nearly plunged the country into a civil war, but shootings and bombings still take place on a daily basis.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Lebanon on Edge After Car Bomb Kills Security Chief

(Reuters) — Lebanese troops reinforced road junctions and official buildings in Beirut on Saturday and the government met to mull a response to the car bomb killing of a senior intelligence official opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Brigadier-General Wissam al-Hassan, who led an investigation that implicated Syria and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005, and seven other people were killed by the explosion in a central district of the capital on Friday afternoon…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Obama Cuts Deal With Iran Over Nukes

Iranian and U.S. negotiators have reached an agreement that calls for Iran to halt part of its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of many of the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic regime, according to a highly placed source. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expects a letter from President Obama in a few days guaranteeing the details of the agreement, arrived at recently during secret negotiations in Doha, Qatar. The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons and is highly placed in Iran’s regime, said that once Khamenei receives Obama’s guarantees, he will authorize an announcement by Iran on a solution to the nuclear crisis before the U.S. presidential elections.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama’s October Surprise Nuke Deal With Iran Emerges

On October 6th, we headlined a report from Reza Kahlili, ex-CIA agent about secret negotiations in Doha, Qatar between a US delegation and a senior representative of the Islamic regime in Tehran, Ali Akbar Velayati, the former Iranian Foreign Minister and current close adviser to the Supreme Leader on international affairs. The headline we used was, “Will there be an Obama October Surprise on Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment?”

Kahlili has released a new report today , based on reliable sources in Iran, that a tentative deal has been reached and who the mysterious US woman was who had long term connections inside the Islamic Republic, Valarie Jarrett, a close advisor to President Obama. Kahlili notes in this latest World Net Daily report today, “Obama cuts deal with Iran over nukes” the outline of the proposed deal and alleged timing;

Iranian and U.S. negotiators have reached an agreement that calls for Iran to halt part of its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of many of the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic regime, according to a highly placed source.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expects a letter from President Obama in a few days guaranteeing the details of the agreement, arrived at recently during secret negotiations in Doha, Qatar.


[Continues, with links, at the original URL above]

[Return to headlines]

Pope’s Advice to Middle Eastern Christians: Collective Suicide

Fifty years ago, 20 percent of the population of the Middle East — from Egypt to Iraq — was Christian. Today, the number is five per cent or 12 million and falling. Most observers expect the number to fall to six million by 2020. The complete disappearance of Christianity from the lands where it first arose is in sight. This is in all respects a huge civilizational tragedy. This is even true in merely practical terms; the Christians are generally a creative and relatively prosperous minority, and their loss will affect the well-being of the very Muslim states, imams, and masses who are driving them out.

This tragedy, one very personal for those directly affected, causes little or no stir in the mainstream media. This is not surprising; these media are well known for their anti-Christian and Islamophile bias. What is surprising is that even among the various churches themselves, few seem to notice or care about the unfolding drama. A lonely but eloquent exception to this rule is the Italian Vaticanist and Catholic Sandro Magister, whose website (also in English) regularly monitors assaults on and prejudice against Christians in the Middle East.

Although only a minority of Middle Eastern Christians are Catholic, one would expect Magister’s church, being the largest and most powerful, to take at least a strong public stand against what is clearly nothing less than systematic religious persecution. It is estimated that every five minutes a Christian is slain — martyrized — for his faith somewhere in the world, and the vast majority of these murders occur in Muslim lands. No century has produced more martyrs in history than the 20th; the 21st seems likely to surpass that tally.

Do we hear anguished protests against these atrocities from the head of the Catholic Church, pope Benedict XVI? Not exactly. On his recent visit to Lebanon, where Christians and Muslims each constituted about half the population as late as 1970, he called on both communities to use the wisdom of King Solomon in preserving the “decisive balance” between Christians and “their brothers of other religions which can act as a model for the inhabitants of the whole region”. Speaking to the Lebanese government, he invoked those “values which are common to all the great cultures, because they are rooted in the nature of the human person”. Of these values the greatest is religious freedom.

This is surreal. The pope knows perfectly well what is really going on, and who the villains and the victims are. It is not the Christians who need to be told to be wise and patient.

Speaking to a Christian audience in Beirut, the pope got a little bit more realistic. Acknowledging in typically evasive Vatican-speak that the Christians face certain difficulties, he recommended them to follow Jesus and take up their Cross. So far so defeatist. While it is true that Christians are commanded to turn the other cheek and pray for their persecutors, it is nowhere commanded that they commit collective suicide. Yet this is what the pope appears to be recommending.

One is reminded of the old Vatican Ostpolitik towards the Communist regimes after the Second Vatican Council in 1962-1965. Instead of condemning persecution, the new Vatican line was to recommend patience. The purpose was clearly to save Christian lives and make them easier by not appearing to encourage dissidence. But as in Lebanon, the logic was skewed: the Communist rulers already held all the power. With their greatest enemy seemingly in retreat, what should deter them from oppression?

Why does the Vatican pursue this apparently counterproductive policy over and over again? In the case of the old Ostpolitik, reliable sources report that, at the Council, the Vatican struck a deal with the Soviet Union: if the Council refrained from issuing a dogmatic condemnation of communism, as many hoped and expected, the Soviets would allow representatives of the Orthodox Church to attend and would in general let up on its anti-Christian propaganda. One is reminded here of the old saying that if you want to sup with the devil, you should bring a long spoon. All too many Church leaders then and since forgot this wisdom and treated their enemies as potential friends to be appeased by dialogue, the great catchword of the age.

So again, why repeat discredited policies that do not help those, the local Christians, whom the pope and his advisors claim to be helping. One possibility is that they really believe what they are saying. It seems unlikely for such intelligent men, but cannot be disregarded.

But there is another reason for what appears to be behavior likely to harm rather than help local Christians. And that is the fantasy, well rooted in certain Catholic quarters, of a grand alliance with Islam against a Western modernity hostile to faith and to enduring values, such as the family, and unfavorable to such values as immediate gratification, homosexuality, feminism, and ugliness.

At the origins of this fantasy: Louis Massignon (1883-1962), the greatest French scholar of Islam of the 20th century. In the early 1900s, Massignon spent time in Morocco, where he discovered Islamic mysticism, which immediately became a life-long fascination. His writings of the time and later demonstrate a strong, mystical belief in the fundamental compatibility of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; even that each of the three religions needs the others. Pupils and followers of Massignon among the Council fathers and their advisors played a decisive role in getting Islam included prominently in the Council’s declaration on religious freedom, Nostra aetate (1964). Its sections on Islam truly make this a most singular document:

[Ed. Note: “Singular” indeed…Read more for the Council’s pronouncements on Religious Freedom in “Nostra Aetate” from 1964…and see what side it came down on in Middle East…Google Nostra Aetate heresy for different view]

           — Hat tip: Hat Tip: Richard Faulknor[Return to headlines]

The Poplar Preacher Leading an Armed Gang of Jihadis in Syria

An influential British-based preacher is leading an armed gang of more than a hundred Islamist fighters in Syria, it can be disclosed.

In a video posted on the internet in the last few days, Abu Basir al-Tartusi can be seen on a balcony surrounded by Kalashnikov waving rebels after apparently capturing a hilltop village in the war-torn country. Security sources believe that dozens of British extremists, possibly as many as 50, have travelled to Syria to join the fighting and some may have been recruited by Basir. This week a junior doctor of Bangladeshi origin from, East London was charged with kidnapping two photographers in Syria, where he was said to be part of a 15-strong group of Britons. The security services are concerned that the brutal conflict in Syria could become a “new Afghanistan” drawing in young men who return to Britain radicalised and keen to continue a fight to spread Islam…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks

The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.

In an exclusive report in Sunday’s New York Times, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, citing Obama administration officials, write that Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election so that they know which American president they would be dealing with.

News of the agreement comes at a critical moment in the presidential contest. It has the potential to help President Obama make a case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the effort to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time. It is also far from clear that Mr. Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, would go through with the negotiation should he win election.

[Return to headlines]

Young Saudis Volunteer to Clean Graveyards, Mosque Toilets

DHAMAD/TAIF — About 85 youths volunteered to clean the graveyard in the Dhamad governorate as part of an initiative described by local residents as one of the most beautiful organized by the youngsters in the region. Older men also played an effective role in making the first part of the program a success. The participants removed trees, dried leaves, pieces of paper and other garbage that covered the graves. The residents of Dhamad governorate praised the initiative.

Meanwhile, in the Taif governorate 10 youths joined a campaign for cleaning mosques on the expressway between Makkah and Jeddah so that they are ready to receive pilgrims. This campaign forms part of the “Mu Saab” (It’s Not Difficult) initiative that aims to develop social morals and values. This campaign for cleaning the toilets in mosques is the first of its kind for places of worship on the expressways. The campaign carries the motto “Care for a Cleaner Environment” and continued for four days…

[JP note: The problem, of course, is Islam.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Russian Political Movement: No More Mosques!

by Michael Carl

Conflict developing as Islam flexes muscle in Moscow

A Russian nationalist organization has declared that Moscow doesn’t need any new mosques. According to Russian Today, Russikye National Movement Chairman Aleksandr Belov said Russians need to decide Russia’s future identity. “It is necessary to decide once and for all whether Russia will turn into an Islamic state or it will remain a secular state, where foreign immigrants arrive, find jobs and leave after their work is finished,” Belov said. Russia’s chief, Mufti Albir Krganov, has asked the government for permits to build additional mosques.

Heritage Foundation Russia scholar and analyst Ariel Cohen said there are approximately 2 million Muslims in Moscow. Cohen added that the evidence of heavy migration is in Moscow’s schools. “Moscow is facing a real problem with a very heavy migration from the North Caucasus area,” he said. “In some areas of Moscow, roughly 50 percent of the students are children of migrants from that area.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Bomb Kills 19 Wedding Guests in Afghanistan

KABUL A huge roadside bomb ripped through a minibus carrying guests to a wedding party in Afghanistan on Friday, killing 19 people and wounding 16 others, officials said. Most of the victims were women and children in the attack that took place in the northern province of Balkh, in the district of Dawlat Abad around 40km from the provincial capital Mazare Sharif. “All the victims were civilians and mostly they were women and children,” the police spokesman for Balkh, Shir Jan Durrani, said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italian Foreign Minister Calls Marines Detention ‘Illicit’

Italy pushes for return of anti-piracy marines from India

(ANSA) — Milan, October 17 — Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi called India’s continued detention of two Italian marines “illicit” and demanded their immediate return on Wednesday.

Terzi said the two anti-piracy marines “unduly and — from our point of view — illicitly held must return home quickly” from the sidelines of visit to a construction fair in Milan.

Terzi reiterated “the commitment that the entire government is showing, in fact, every day to resolve this incredible business,” and underlined how “India must recognize Italian jurisdiction, and in doing so will show itself to be truly coherent with a line of action against piracy”.

Terzi’s comments turn up the heat in a diplomatic row over between Italy and India since the anti-piracy marines were arrested and jailed in February.

India’s supreme court last month began to examine whether Italy should be granted jurisdiction over the case, and promised a decision within 20 days.

Last Thursday, Terzi declared he was “astounded and disconcerted” by the Indian justice system’s dithering over the case. On Monday Terzi said the two marines “will come home”.

The Italian government has stumped for its position that, regardless of who has jurisdiction, the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India as they were military personnel working on an anti-piracy mission.

Defense lawyer Harish Salve said the two were on board the Enrica Lexie vessel due to an Italian government decision based on a UN resolution to protect ships navigating pirate-infested waters.

Indian police filed charges against the two that include the murder of fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki.

The Italian marines were granted bail in June, but were required to remain in Indian territory as their case wound its way through Indian courts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Six Afghan Policemen Poisoned and Shot by a Colleague

(AGI) Kandahar, Oct. 20 — Six Afghan policemen were poisened and then shot to death by a colleague in the province of Helmand, in East Afghanistan. A cook and an agent put some poison in the policemen’s food and shot them once they were unconscious. The news was reported by the spokesman of the provincial police, Ahmad Zeerak. The agent who fired the shots was arrested but the cook fled without leaving trace. The Talibans have claimed responsibility for this new attack against Afghan security forces which occurred in the district of Gereshk by the hand of disguised agents.

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

Australia — Pacific

Barley Geneticists Toast to Future of Better Beer

Scientists have produced the most detailed genetic map of barley to date, bringing them closer to final genome sequencing. It could help address global food security — and lead to better beer.

An international consortium of scientists has released the most detailed map to date of the roughly 32,000 separate genes in the barley genome.

Which is no mean feat — the barley genome is far bigger than our own.

“Most people don’t realize the barley genome is twice the size of the human genome,” says Peter Langridge, a professor of plant science at the University of Adelaide in Australia and a member of the barley consortium.

The genome map includes data on complex traits of the staple grain, such as its tolerance to heat and ability to resist drought. The research will allow targeted selective breeding that could increase yields, make the crop more resistant to disease, and enhance its nutritional value.

Barley is the fourth most cultivated crop on earth. Any improvements in our understanding of its genetic makeup could help global food security.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Three-Storey Mosque Planned for Globe Derby Park

A THREE-STOREY mosque may be built at Globe Derby Park under plans lodged with Salisbury Council.

The Hazara Foundation of SA is seeking approval to build the mosque at 685 Whites Rd on a site zoned “rural living”. If approved it is believed it will be the first mosque in the Salisbury area. SA Harness Racing Club chief executive John Lewis said the club had formally opposed the development. Mr Lewis told the News Review Messenger the main reason for the club’s opposition was concerns about increased traffic. “We have horses being walked from the suburb of Globe Derby Park to the track, with horses and handlers utilising the roads,” he said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Muslim Protesters Fight Police in Tanzania, Popular Cleric Freed

(Reuters) — Muslim protesters clashed with police in Tanzania’s commercial capital and on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Friday, raising religious tensions in the east African country.

In Dar es Salaam, protests against the arrest of a hardline Muslim cleric turned violent, while in Zanzibar, supporters of an Islamist separatist group have repeatedly fought police over the disappearance of their spiritual leader, who was then released after nearly four days in captivity…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tanzania: Dar Business District Turns Into Battle Field

Dar es Salaam city centre and Zanzibar’s Stone Town yesterday were turned into battle grounds as anti- riot police fought running battles with Muslim demonstrators protesting the detention of Muslim cleric Sheikh Issa Ponda. In Zanzibar,yesterday’s chaos was a continuation of violence that started on Wednesday following the disappearance of Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed who is a leader of an Islamic revival group, Uamsho, in Zanzibar…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Denmark: Immigrant Gangs Agree on Peace Treaty

A groundbreaking peace treaty was sealed on Tuesday when rival immigrant gangs agreed to end the violence

A peace treaty was struck between rival gangs in Nørrebro on Tuesday during a ceremony facilitated by the Islamic association Viomis, Radio24Syv reported. Viomis’ spokesperson Alexander Chebil said that the deal between the Nørrebro gangs from Blågårds Plads and Mjølnerparken was a significant step to end the violence that has plagued the district. “The deal has been underway for over a year,” Chebil told Radio24Syv. “It means that people from Blågårds Plads can go to Mjølnerparken and vice versa without having to fear anything. It’s a very important deal that is supported by more than the two gangs. Members of the gang communities in Kokkedal, Tingbjerg, and Sjælør were also present.” According to Politiken newspaper, high-ranking members of both gangs — including the notorious ‘Store A’ from the Blågårds Plads gang and ‘jaja’ from the Mjølnerparken gang — were present. Politiken reported that despite the strife between their respective gangs, the leaders are on good terms after serving prison sentences together…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Sending Imans to the West

by Idris Tawfiq

IF we have learned anything at all from the recent uproar over the film made about Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) it is that Muslims are somehow failing to get the message across to the West about what they feel to be the real Islam. That a group of fanatics with a cheap camcorder can manage to create such commotion throughout the world and leave Muslims once more having to defend their beliefs and their Prophet (pbuh) in the face of international chaos is a sad reflection on just how much Muslim religious leaders are failing to win the media war…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]