Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121027

Financial Crisis
»Australia: Banksia Financial Group Collapses
»Greece: Athens Closes 8 Embassies and 2 Consulates
»Greece: Coastline in Athens Set for Redevelopment
»Greece: Samaras: We Won’t Bargain Away Our Freedom
»Greece: IMF Concedes Athens Will Miss Debt Target
»IMF’s Epic Plan to Conjure Away Debt and Dethrone Bankers
»Italian Government Increases Retirement Age for Miners
»Italy: Teachers Stage Protest, Grade Homework in Milan Shoping Mall
»Will the Bottom Fall Out? 15 Signs That Layoffs and Job Losses Are Skyrocketing
»Amendment Offered to Change Presidential Elections
»Doctors Fear Government Trap
»Expert Fights Western Prejudice Against Muslims
»Gallup Poll: 46% of Americans Say Romney Won the 3 Debates
»Joe Biden to Father of Former Navy Seal Killed in Benghazi: ‘Did Your Son Always Have Balls the Size of Cue Balls?’
»Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury
»Mosque Parking, Traffic Calculations Questioned
»Muslims Observe Islamic Holiday of Sacrifice in West Valley City
»Muslim Brotherhood DC Forum
»Muslim Group Holds Interfaith Converstaion on Anti-Islam Film
»New Film Exposes Radical Muslim “Deception”
»Obama Extends Eid Greetings to Muslim Community
»Obama Refuses to Answer Repeated Questions on Benghazi
»Proposed Mosque Draws Ire of Neighbors in Harwood Heights
»U.S. Veterans Call for Immediate End of Afghan War
»“Suspicious” Fire at a Brampton Coptic Orthodox Church Early This Morning
»Charlottetown Muslims Celebrate Eid in New Mosque
»Ottawa-Area Muslims Celebrate Feast of Sacrifice
Europe and the EU
»A German Victory for Free Speech
»Belgium: British ExxonMobil Executive ‘Shot Protecting Wife After Violent Mugging’
»Bureaucrats of EU and Global Governance
»Caspar David Friedrich at the Edge of the Imaginable
»Cyprus: Block 12 Could Have ‘A Lot More’ Gas, Says Expert
»Danish School Evacuated After Bomb Threat Letter
»‘Dutch Super Elite’ Implicated in Child Sex Trafficking
»Former Anti-Semitic EU Parliament Member Now Fights for Israel
»Ireland: President of Republic [Western Sahara] Received [By] Leader of Sinn Fein
»Italy: Lazio and Lombardy to Hold Elections Before February
»Italy: Three Handed Life Sentences for WWII Nazi Massacre in Italy
»Italy: Alfano Tipped to Succeed Berlusconi, PDL Prepares Primaries
»Italy: Prosecutors Seek 20-Month Sentence for Puglia Governor
»Italy: Alitalia to Give Up Seven Milan-Rome Slots
»Italy: Mussolini’s Granddaughter Confirms Will Run for Premier
»Italy: Minetti Resigns With Other Councillors From Lombard Assembly
»Italy: Prodi Reiterates Doubts About Berlusconi Quitting
»Italy Ex-PM Berlusconi Threatens to Topple Monti Government
»Mayor Arrested for ‘Rigging Contracts’ In Central Italy
»Muted Protests Greet Wilders Malmö Visit
»The EU Was Dreamed Up in French and German. That’s Why the British Have Never Fit in
»UK: ‘Islam is About Real Love, Not Just Lust’: The Party Girl Who’s Embraced a New Life as a Muslim Convert
»UK: ‘Evil’ Nigerian People Smuggler Used Witchcraft to Terrify Girls Into Sex Slavery
»UK: A Fond Farewell to the Dandy
»UK: British ‘Terror Gang Planned to Buy Five AK47 Guns’
»UK: EDL Leader Set to Spend Xmas in Jail
»UK: EDL Moves Protest to Parliament
»UK: Incest — A Favoured Cause of Old Lefties
»UK: Kevin Carroll’s Election Campaign
»UK: Osezua Osolase Used Witchcraft on Trafficked Girls
»UK: Powerful Anti-Tank Mines Used by British Troops in Afghanistan Are Stolen From Goods Train
»UK: Pazeer Ahmed Jailed for Murder
»UK: Respect Activist: Was Hitler the Bad Guy?
»UK: Victory Rally in Walthamstow Saturday 27 October
»UK: Walthamstow: Campaigners Celebrate ‘Victory’ Over EDL
Mediterranean Union
»Israel Moves to Block Trojan Computer Attack
North Africa
»Benghazi: No Other Explanation Fits
»Clinton Asked for More Security, Obama Said No
»Egyptian Diplomat Wanted for Trafficking Ugandan Girls
Israel and the Palestinians
»Most Israeli Jews for Apartheid Regime in Israel
»Olive Orchard Jihad
»Panicking Cow Kills Palestinian in Muslim Feast
Middle East
»Bosnian Muslim Senad Hadzic Walks to Mecca Via Syria
»Car Bomb Blast Damages Church in Eastern Syria
»Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq as Muslims Mark Eid Festival
»Europe is Turning Away From Turkey — And the Rest of the World
»Saudi Arabia: Muslim Pilgrims Stone Devil in Symbolic Hajj Rite
»Turkey Fails to Appeal to Investors, WB Says
»Russian Muslims Swarm Moscow for ‘Feast of Sacrifice’
South Asia
»Afghanistan: British Army Medic and Royal Marine Were Not Shot Dead by Own Forces
»Animal VC for Dog Who Died of a Broken Heart: Theo’s Handler Killed by Taliban
»Clashes in Indian-Controlled Kashmir After Eid-Ul-Adha Prayers
»Indonesia: Blind in One Eye, The Orangutan Fighting for Life After Being Shot More Than 100 Times by Palm Oil Plantation Thugs
»New Delhi Condemns Ferrari Support for Marines at Indian GP
»Pakistan: Altaf Hussain Felicitates Muslims on Eid
»Police: Taliban Shoot Dead 5 Civilians Grabbed Off Bus in Eastern Afghanistan
»Singapore: Sheep for Ritual: Be Prepared for Alternative Arrangements, Says PM
Far East
»Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader
»Chinese Christian Was Tortured for Helping Other Believers
Australia — Pacific
»Eid: Sydney’s Muslim Community Leaders Call for Tolerance
»Video: Sydney Commuters Join Forces to Attack Abusive Passenger and Throw Her From the Train
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Ghana: Muslims Urged to Accept Outcome of the Elections
»Mujahideen Flock to Mali
»Republic of Congo to Borrow Over 1.1 Bln USD From China
»Risks of Boko Haram Attacks in Nigeria
»Police Hunt for Alleged Bogus Asylum Seeker Accused of Conning His Way Into Job With… The Serious Organised Crime Agency
»Sardine Can Britain: What Life Will be Like in 2050 When Experts Predict the Population Will Have Exploded to 80million
»Texas Police Fire at Vehicle Carrying Illegal Immigrants, Kill 2
»UK: Just 62 Out of 11,000 Foreign Prisoners Have Been Kicked Out Despite Cameron’s Pledge of Crackdown
Culture Wars
»France: Pill 100% Free for Girls Aged 15-18, Health Minister
»Three-Quarters of Teachers Fear Easy Access to Hardcore Porn Through Smartphones and the Web is ‘Damaging’ Pupils
»UK: Brighton Council Plans to Remove Mr and Mrs Titles From All Documents to Protect City’s Transgender Community From Offence

Financial Crisis

Australia: Banksia Financial Group Collapses

RETIREES, schools and sporting clubs are in shock and fearful about the fate of their investments following the collapse of Banksia Securities.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said the Federal Opposition was “desperately trying to find out much more on how Banksia was structured”.

Thousands of people hundreds of millions of dollars in losses after the shock collapse of Banksia Financial Group. Receivers McGrathNicol took charge of the non-bank financial firm, based in Kyabram in central Victoria, and froze investments on Thursday after the Banksia board found the company faced insolvency.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece: Athens Closes 8 Embassies and 2 Consulates

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 23 — At a time when Greece needs the Diaspora more than ever, the Greek government — under pressure to cut expenses by its international lenders — will be closing six embassies and two consulates around the world instead of spreading spending cuts around its diplomatic missions. Embassies set to shut are in Hanoi (Vietnam), Lima (Peru’), Montevideo (Uruguay), Wellington (New Zealand), Khartoum (Sudan) and Harare (Zimbabwe), while the consulates that will be terminated are in Atlanta (Georgia,Usa) and Perth (Australia). The initial list of diplomatic offices to close also included the Greek consulate in Los Angeles, but a last-minute reprieve from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitri Avramopoulos, saved it. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is trying to conclude a 13,5 billion euros spending cut and tax hike plan to please the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that is putting up 250 billion euros in two bailouts. Part of the savings include the elimination of the diplomatic missions in the eight cities, while others around the world will be spared from cuts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: Coastline in Athens Set for Redevelopment

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 24 — A tender will be launched at the beginning of next year for proposals on how to develop Athens’s southern coastline, stretching from Neo Faliro to Sounio, the government announced on Tuesday. Alternate Development Minister Notis Mitarakis met with mayors from seafront areas to discuss the plan on Tuesday. “Our aim is to make use of this asset that belongs to Athenians so it can be of benefit to them,” he said. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has stated several times his intention to develop the 45-kilometer coastline to make it more commercially viable. Daily Kathimerini wrote that the Development Ministry will set up a company that will be responsible for handling the project, which will involve having to clear up any legal issues relating to the various plots of public land along the stretch of coastline. The mayors expressed some reservations about the regeneration plans and made it clear to Mitarakis that one of the conditions under which they might give their backing to the project would be for access to beaches to remain free of charge.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: Samaras: We Won’t Bargain Away Our Freedom

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 26 — As a crucial austerity deal with Greece’s foreign creditors hangs in the balance amid objections from the government’s junior coalition partner, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras indicated on Friday that his administration would not sell the debt-wracked country out.

“Greece won’t bargain away its freedom,” Samaras said during a speech in Thessaloniki marking the celebration of the northern port’s liberation from Ottoman rule, as Kathimerini online reports. The premier said the time had come for Greece to look forward and seek all necessary cooperations to ensure “we shake off the shackles of underdevelopment and of excessive debt which is leading us to humiliation.” Samaras also stressed the need for Greeks to have faith in their abilities and to display unity and patriotism as “only division can break us.” “In a few years Greece will be a much better place as long as we remain united and determined and that depends on us,” the premier said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: IMF Concedes Athens Will Miss Debt Target

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 26 — Greek debt will be above the target of 120% of GDP in 2020, a preliminary report by the IMF showed late on Thursday, and Athens will need more reforms before emergency credit from international lenders can start flowing again. Excerpts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report were presented to the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) — junior finance ministers and treasury officials who prepare meetings of eurozone finance ministers. “It is clear that Greece is off track and there is no chance they will cut the debt to 120% of GDP in 2020 as envisaged. It will be rather 136%, and this would be under a positive scenario of a primary budget surplus, a return to economic growth, and privatisation,” a euro zone official, who insisted on anonymity, said as reported by daily Kathimerini. “New prior actions will be needed, on top of the existing 89,” the official said, referring to a list of already agreed reforms that need to be in place before any new tranches of eurozone and IMF emergency loans to Greece can be paid. Apart from the debt projections, representatives of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank — known as the troika — have been calculating how much more money Athens will need if it is given until 2016 rather than 2014 to reach a primary surplus of 4.5%, as agreed in February. A primary surplus or deficit is the budget balance before the government services its debt. In Greece’s case, it would mean government tax revenues exceeding spending, meaning Athens is beginning to get on top of its budget-deficit problems. The two extra years would give the fast-contracting Greek economy some welcome respite, allowing it to return to growth sooner and therefore increasing the chances the country would eventually be able to make its debt sustainable. “Additional financing needs for Greece are now seen at around 30 billion euros,” the official said after the EWG meeting.

Estimates from various officials since July varied from 13 billion to 30 billion and on Thursday another official estimated the financing needs at 16-20 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

IMF’s Epic Plan to Conjure Away Debt and Dethrone Bankers

One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined.

The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money — roughly 97pc of the money supply — with state-created money. We return to the historical norm, before Charles II placed control of the money supply in private hands with the English Free Coinage Act of 1666.

Specifically, it means an assault on “fractional reserve banking”. If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air.

The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more banks runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. Accounting legerdemain will do the rest. That at least is the argument.

Some readers may already have seen the IMF study, by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, which came out in August and has begun to acquire a cult following around the world.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Italian Government Increases Retirement Age for Miners

Must be at least 56, not 55

(ANSA) — Rome, October 26 — The Italian government introduced measures on Friday modifying regulations governing miners’ pensions, including pushing back their retirement ages one year to 56.

The new regulations governing the social contributions necessary for workers in mines and quarries to retire were approved at a cabinet meeting in Rome. Underground workers seeking to request anticipated retirement will need to have paid a minimum of 37 years and two months of social contributions in 2013, and 37 years and three months in 2014.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Teachers Stage Protest, Grade Homework in Milan Shoping Mall

Demonstration opposes cost cuts, longer work week

(ANSA) — Milan, October 26 — A group if Italian teachers staged a protest in Milan on Friday when they sat on the ground in the centre of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping area and passed the time by marking their students’ homework with red pens.

About 100 teachers were protesting against the government raising their work week to 24 hours. Other issues of contention include cost cuts being applied to schools by recently introduced austerity measures, and the lack of security involved in some of the teacher contracts.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy’s oldest shopping center, and is loated inside a four-storey double arcade in the heart of historic Milan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Will the Bottom Fall Out? 15 Signs That Layoffs and Job Losses Are Skyrocketing

If you still have a good job, you might want to hold on to it very tightly because there are a whole bunch of signs that unemployment in the United States is about to start getting worse again. Over the past several weeks, a substantial number of large corporations have announced disappointing earnings for the third quarter. Many of those large corporations are also loaded up with huge amounts of debt. So what is the solution? Well, the favorite solution on Wall Street these days seems to be to lay off workers. In fact, it is almost turning into a feeding frenzy. Since September 1st, we have seen more job cuts announced than during any other two month period since the start of 2010. These announcements represent future layoffs and job losses which are not even showing up in the unemployment numbers yet. So needless to say, things don’t look very promising for the end of 2012 or for the beginning of 2013. If this race to eliminate jobs becomes a stampede, will we see the bottom fall out of the employment market?

If you are concerned about whether or not you will still have a job 12 months from now, you might find the numbers posted below to be quite alarming. We have not seen layoff announcements come this fast and this furious since the gloomy days of the last recession.


Some of the biggest names in the business world have announced job cuts in recent weeks. The following are 15 signs that layoffs and job losses are skyrocketing…

1. Dow Chemical has announced that it will be closing about 20 plants and will be letting about 2,400 workers go.
2. Colgate-Palmolive has announced that they will be eliminating about 2,300 jobs.
3. DuPont has announced plans to eliminate about 1,500 jobs.
4. Ford has announced that it will be eliminating 6,200 jobs and will be reducing production capacity in Europe by 18 percent.
5. Hewlett-Packard announced last month that they plan to eliminate 29,000 jobs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Amendment Offered to Change Presidential Elections

Democrat’s proposal would give 29 more electoral votes to popular-vote winner

(The Hill) The head of the House Democratic campaign arm this week proposed a constitutional amendment that would give the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race an additional 29 electoral votes.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) did not offer an explanation in the joint resolution filed in the House for why he was proposing to change the way elections in the U.S. are decided.

Under the Constitution, the candidate who wins at least 270 electoral votes wins the presidency, regardless of the popular vote.

[JD Comment: US would cease to be a Republic. Nothing less than a move to make the US a one party state — that party being the Communist Party, oops, I meant Democrat Party.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Doctors Fear Government Trap

To the undecided, the uninformed, the skeptics, and those with their heads in the sand, the Obama administration is counting on you not having this information prior to Election Day. America’s hospitals and emergency room doctors are caught in a vise that spells financial collapse unless they play ball with hard-and-fast government mandates. The choice for hospitals is either government control over patient care or potential bankruptcy. For socialized medicine or Obama’s health care to work, the government requires control of your health by nullifying both hospitals and doctors as decision makers.

A doctor’s warning appeared in The Patriot Post: “Come spend a day with me at any of the four hospitals in two states that I practice at. You will see more government control and threats than you will possibly believe. They set clinical criteria that I do not want applied to any of my family, much less other folks. The government is telling me what I can do and what I must do and then refusing to pay if there is any outcome less than 100% without complication, regardless of the age or condition of the patient.


By gouging Medicare of billions of dollars to financially prop up Obamacare, Obama deceptively makes Obamacare appear less costly. There is the crux of the problem. In order to recoup those losses, Medicare now must ramp up fines on hospitals to recover long-term losses.


Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney vows to reinstate to Medicare the currently estimated $716 billion that Obama misappropriated.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Expert Fights Western Prejudice Against Muslims

King’s College London law professor Maleiha Malik seeks to combat misperceptions and prejudices toward Muslims in the western world. Malik, who focuses on the theory and practice of discrimination law, visited Duke Wednesday as part of the Our Shared Future initiative, an exchange program funded by the British Council, said event organizer Kelly Schwehm, who serves as program coordinator for the Middle East Studies Center. The purpose of Malik’s stay in America is to raise awareness about anti-Muslim prejudices in different western countries-specifically England and continental European nations-by broadening understanding about Muslim integration into society. By comparing the discrimination that Muslims in different nations experience, Malik hopes to address the misconception that Muslim communities are all alike.

“As with most forms of racism, anti-Muslim racism tends to play on the politics of fear,” Malik said. “This particular fear is that the Muslim presence in Europe and its outward display of religiosity-through its prayers, its headscarves, even its halal food-are converting the continent into ‘Eurabia,’ no longer the white shining beacon of Christianity that Europe is meant to represent.” Malik called the fear irrational, pointing out that Muslims are a small minority in Europe. For example, in France, Muslims make up less than 10 percent of the population-the highest percentage of any European country. In addition, European Muslims tend to be both economically deprived and geographically dispersed…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Gallup Poll: 46% of Americans Say Romney Won the 3 Debates

(AGI) Washington, Oct. 26- According to a Gallup poll revealed on Friday, more Americans (46%) saw Mitt Romney as the overall winner of the three television debates than Barack Obama (44%).

On average, U.S. press agreed that the first debate on October 3 was won by the Republican candidate against an apparently resigned and tired Obama. The other two debates, on October 16 and 22, are widely held to have been won by Obama though through “points” rather than a K.O.

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

Joe Biden to Father of Former Navy Seal Killed in Benghazi: ‘Did Your Son Always Have Balls the Size of Cue Balls?’

The father of one of the former Navy SEALs killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya says President Barack Obama wouldn’t even look him in the eye and Vice President Joe Biden was disrespectful during the ceremony when his son’s body returned to America. He also says the White House’s story on the attack doesn’t pass the smell test.

Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, called into “The Glenn Beck Program” on TheBlazeTV Thursday and recounted his interactions with the president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Biden at the ceremony for the Libya victims at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He told host Glenn Beck that what they told him, coupled with new reports that indicate the Obama administration knew very good and well, almost immediately, that a terrorist attack was occurring in Benghazi, make him certain that the American people are not getting the whole truth.

Vice President Biden, as he has become known to do, reportedly made a wildly inappropriate comment to the father who had just lost his hero son.

Woods said Biden came over to his family and asked in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”

[Return to headlines]

Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Spire Law Group, LLP’s national home owners’ lawsuit, pending in the venue where the “Banksters” control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) — known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the “Banksters” and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers — now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the “Banksters” located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW-RML) — involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver — Plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation): Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chai rman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former “communications director” for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the “Banksters” themselves, and their affiliates and conduits. The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws.

[Return to headlines]

Mosque Parking, Traffic Calculations Questioned

Traffic consultant due to return at special Bernards Planning Board meeting on Nov. 28.

A traffic consultant representing the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, which has proposed building a mosque in place of a private home at 124 Church Street in Liberty Corner, on Thursday faced questions about the validity of his calculations on traffic and adequate parking at the facility. The consultant, Henry J. Ney, is scheduled to return at a continuation of the public hearing on the proposed mosque at a special Planning Board meeting set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Ney, speaking about a plan that calls for 50 parking spaces to accommodate services and activities within the proposed 4,200-square-foot mosque, said that in conducting his traffic study he at least doubled what would be the anticipated number of vehicles for some activities…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslims Observe Islamic Holiday of Sacrifice in West Valley City

Event commemorates faithfulness of Abraham

WEST VALLEY CITY — The cold, crisp air outside the Khadeeja mosque early Friday morning was a stark contrast for Dr. Salman Masud, who was standing in the oppressive heat of the Saudi Arabian desert around this time last year. “This is a totally different environment,” the soft-spoken Pakistani said as hundreds of Muslims passed by and removed their shoes and coats before entering the mosque for prayers marking Eid al-Adha, or The Feast of Sacrifice, one of Islam’s holiest days…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood DC Forum

by Matthew Taylor

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) hosted a forum in D.C. yesterday on the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA. The event corresponded with the Amazon release of IPT’s film, Jihad in America: The Grand Deception. The film, created by Steven Emerson, the man behind the similarly titled 1994 TV documentary Jihad in America, showcases the ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood in America: to subvert the traditional rights and liberties of the Union, and replace them with Sharia. The film documents the covert, bully-boy tactics, and sometimes criminal activity of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. It also shows how lawmen and citizens have hesistated to challenge their subversive activities for fear of being labeled Islamophobic, a fear that well-funded Muslim Brotherhood affiliaties are quick to exploit…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim Group Holds Interfaith Converstaion on Anti-Islam Film

The Columbus Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community recently held an interfaith meeting at its Nasir mosque in Groveport to discuss the Innocence of Muslims film clips that mocked the Islamic prophet Mohammed and sparked riots in Muslim countries last month.

Speakers “denounced the abhorrent movie as well as the violent protests by extremist groups around the world,” said Sohaib Awan of Pickerington, a member of the community.

Those gathered heard a passage from the Quran referring to Mohammed as “mercy for all mankind” and sayings attributed to the prophet, revealing his “noble character” and traits of “simplicity, generosity and mercy,” Awan said in a report on the meeting.

Presentations were given on the life of Mohammed, similarities between Jews, Christians and Muslims; the need to treat one another as equals; and Mohammed’s “response of patience and peace,” not punishment, against those who blasphemed him in life, Awan added.

Among those speaking were embers of the Ahmadiyya community; a Sunni Muslim; the son of a Christian pastor from Pakistan; and a pastor from a Unitarian Church. Worthington Mayor Harvey Minton also attended and spoke on the separation of church and state, freedom of speech, slander and libel.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New Film Exposes Radical Muslim “Deception”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has released a new film exposing the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the United States and how its front groups and sympathizers intimidate the major media and Hollywood.

The Muslim Brotherhood, now in charge of the Egyptian government and making major advances throughout the Middle East, was established in 1928 and is considered by experts to be the parent organization of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Hamas.

Coming just days before the November 6 presidential election, the film, titled “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” highlights a problem of subversion in the U.S. that both major political party candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, have not been asked by the media to address.

Investigative Project on Terrorism executive director Steven Emerson, himself the target of death threats because of his work over the course of decades exposing Islamic extremist networks, spoke at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 25th, that was attended by Accuracy in Media. We also reviewed an advance copy of the film.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Extends Eid Greetings to Muslim Community

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama extended his warm wishes on the eve of Eidul Azha to Muslims in the United States and around the world.

A statement issued by the White House read, “Michelle and I extend our best wishes for a joyful Eidul Azha to Muslims in the United States and around the world. We also congratulate the millions of peaceful pilgrims who are performing the Hajj, including thousands of American Muslims,” it added. The American president said that Muslim communities join members of many faiths to help the disadvantaged. He said that on the occasion of Eidul Azha, Muslim communities continue this practice by distributing food to the needy.

“Such acts of compassion underscore the shared values of the Abrahamic religions and people of all faiths,” he said.

WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (APP): President Barack Obama has sent greetings to Muslims around the world on the occasion of Eid-al-Azha and congratulated the pilgrims who performed Hajj this year.”Michelle and I extend our best wishes for a joyful Eid al-Adha to Muslims in the United States and around the world. We also congratulate the millions of peaceful pilgrims who are performing the Hajj, including thousands of American Muslims,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.”Throughout the year, Muslims join members of many faiths in serving those suffering from hunger, disease, and conflict. Muslim communities will continue this practice as they celebrate Eid by distributing food and charity to those in need. “Such acts of compassion underscore the shared values of the Abrahamic religions and people of all faiths. On behalf of the American people, we extend our warmest greetings on this holiday. Eid Mubarak,” he added.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Obama Refuses to Answer Repeated Questions on Benghazi

‘Whether the president knew of the cries for help during the terrorist attack’

(The Blaze) President Barack Obama reportedly refused to provide a direct answer to repeated questions on whether requests for help in Benghazi were denied as the attack was underway during an interview with 9News in Denver on Friday.

Kyle Clark, a reporter with 9News, asked the president about the requests for help and whether or not it was fair to make Americans wait for answers on Benghazi until after the election.

“The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” Obama said. “Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”

The president went on to say he wants to “gather all the facts” and find out “exactly what happened” and bring justice to the terrorists who attacked the U.S. mission in Libya.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Proposed Mosque Draws Ire of Neighbors in Harwood Heights

Milan and Maria Letica have lived in their Harwood Heights apartment for 20 years, but if a mosque moves in next to them, they say they are moving out. “Why doesn’t the village take care of the people who have been here for years?” the Leticas’ son, Branco, said. “So many more people are against this than the village knows.” Branco Letica, who spoke on behalf of his parents because of their limited English, said no one in his parents’ apartment building in the 4700 block of Olcott is pleased with the proposal to turn the old Eisenhower Library building next door into a mosque. He expects many apartment dwellers in the other three buildings butting up to the library property at 4652 Olcott feel the same. “There will be more people coming. There will be issues,” Branco Letica said of a mosque being in the area. “There will be a lot of traffic. There will be more noise.”

John Pikarski, an attorney with 40 years zoning-case experience, said a mosque is a much more conducive use of the property for the nearby neighbors than what the building, zoned industrial, could hold. “Some fairly offensive uses can go in there as a matter of right,” Pikarski said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Veterans Call for Immediate End of Afghan War

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — U.S. veterans on Friday called for an immediate end of the War in Afghanistan and slashed both U.S. presidential candidates for their identical positions on the war. The appeal came in a strongly worded statement released by Michael Prysner, an Iraq War veteran and co-founder of March Forward, an organization of veterans and service members against war and racism. Now in its 11th year, the longest in U.S. history, the War in Afghanistan has been a failure with more than 2,000 U.S. troops being lost during President Barack Obama’s term alone, Prysner said. He also noted that the American people are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war, which over 60 percent of Americans want to put an end to immediately…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


“Suspicious” Fire at a Brampton Coptic Orthodox Church Early This Morning

B’nai Brith Canada is expressing concern following a fire at a Brampton Coptic Orthodox Church early this morning that is being treated by police as “suspicious”. Earlier this year a Catholic Church in a nearby area was targeted as well.

Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada issued the following statement:…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Charlottetown Muslims Celebrate Eid in New Mosque

Festival comes after mixed year

Muslims are marking Eid al-Adha in Charlottetown’s first purpose-built mosque, which opened in July. There was a ceremony celebrating Eid at the mosque Friday morning, and there will be a feast Saturday. Celebrations for the mosque opening were marred by some nasty incidents: a pig’s head left on the construction site a year ago, and a bottle filled with gasoline with a note reading “Defeat Jihad” left on the doorstep in September…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ottawa-Area Muslims Celebrate Feast of Sacrifice

The low-ceilinged and dimly lit reception area at Bilal Farms in Clarence Creek, near Rockland, was filled Friday morning as men, fresh from morning prayer, gathered and talked, sipping tea from Styrofoam cups while waiting for their numbers to be called. With them, their children, many wearing their best clothes, played with one another, occasionally stopping long enough to help themselves to a Timbit or date, or both. Outside, more men smoked while, under a nearby tree, mothers and their children set out blankets for a picnic of sorts, as they, too, waited for their husbands’ work to be done…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

A German Victory for Free Speech

by Andrew E. Harrod

In a letter dated October 10, 2012, and received by its addressee four days later, the Marburg, Germany state prosecutor announced a suspension in the prosecution of medical historian Dr. Armin Geus. As discussed in my recent FrontPage Magazine article, Geus had run afoul of German authorities because of his book Die Krankheit des Propheten (The Sickness of the Prophet), in which Geus had argued that Islam’s prophet Muhammad was not divinely led, but rather psychologically disturbed. Despite this victory for free speech with respect to Islam, briefs submitted by Geus’ defense lawyers and a public declaration by a German Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) highlight various long-term issues still seeking ultimate resolution…

The lawyers concluded their brief with ominous analogies to Nazism, so historically important for Germany in particular. “If Germany is supposed to have learned something from National Socialism,” they declared “… then certainly this: A psychologically disturbed violent perpetrator does not become healthy and peaceful in that he has millions of followers. What is valid for Adolf Hitler, is also valid for Muhammad, who, with the ‘Koran’, wrote a violence-glorifying book, which actually does not take second place to Mein Kampf in any repulsiveness: If one may no longer critically analyze and objectively criticize the master, then his disciples will have soon violently conquered the world.”

Despite such gloomy conclusions, a second brief of Geus’ lawyers dated October 10, 2012 seemed positively to relish the prospect of a forthcoming trial…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Belgium: British ExxonMobil Executive ‘Shot Protecting Wife After Violent Mugging’

The senior British ExxonMobil executive who was shot dead in the street in Brussels may have been trying to protect his wife after a violent mugging, prosecutors said yesterday.

Nicholas Mockford, 59, was shot four times after leaving an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek, a Brussels suburb, on October 14. Prosecutors said Mr Mockford appeared to have been killed in a “handbag theft which went wrong”, but some relatives remained sceptical and said they thought he had been murdered in a “professional hit”. After the killing Belgian prosecutors imposed a news blackout which was only lifted yesterday after The Daily Telegraph disclosed details of the oil company worker’s shooting. A friend of the family said they were concerned Belgian police and felt they had “not been looking too hard” for Mr Mockford’s killers and had failed to “manage the investigation effectively”. Mr Mockford and his wife Mary were leaving an Italian restaurant in the suburb Neder-over-Heembeek shortly after 10pm when they were attacked by two men…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Bureaucrats of EU and Global Governance

The 27-nation European Union is hanging by a thread like a loose tooth. For months now, we have been warned weekly of impending doom and gloom if the euro is not saved, if Spain, Greece, and Italy are not bailed out by the European Central Bank and if France and Germany do not cooperate and agree to pay even more to the bankrupt southern EU membership who refuses to alter their generous socialist programs expenditures and the way they approach fiscal policy.

The separatist voices in the EU are getting stronger. Catalonia wants independence from its own country; they are tired of paying the lion’s share of Madrid’s lavish expenditures. “When everybody was rich, nobody thought of how much it cost us to be part of Spain. But now everybody sees it,” said Oriol Pujol. This richness, of course, came to Spain in the form of easy money while the economic and construction boom took place before the 2008 housing crash. It seems that the producing citizens have a problem with this globalized economy and governance which depends on spreading the wealth.


In a recent interview, Oskar Freysinger, Vice President of the Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei) stressed that the European Union is imposed on nations by technocrats. In his opinion, the European Union will eventually fail because “citizens are identifying less and less with a bureaucratic anti-democratic and centralized power” like the EU.

When asked, Freysinger emphasized that Switzerland’s adherence to EU would be an organizational, economic, and financial catastrophe. Such a membership would violate the two pillars of the Swiss Constitution, democracy and federalism, causing an increase in the value of the added tax (VAT) alone of 8-20 percent. Switzerland does not wish to be a cash machine to the debts accrued by the bankrupt southern European states.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Caspar David Friedrich at the Edge of the Imaginable

by Julian Bell

The six syllables “Caspar David Friedrich” reliably bring to mind a certain strong flavour, a flavour commonly labelled “the Romantic sublime”. You get the full force of that flavour standing before “The Watzmann” in Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie — at five-foot-six wide, one of the artist’s largest canvases. In fact a keen taste of it comes through from the reproduction in Johannes Grave’s magnificently produced new monograph: for even in small scale, the image giddies and chills. Your imagination is, as it were, knocked off its feet by a foreground that falls tumblingly away, while at the same time a rush of angular forms drives it upwards — from cold to glacial, from uninhabited moor to unattainable altitude, from not much of anywhere to a visionary nowhere. The peak provocatively pokes at the canvas edge, as if at the very edge of the imaginable…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Cyprus: Block 12 Could Have ‘A Lot More’ Gas, Says Expert

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 25 — Cyprus’ off-shore Block 12 may carry potentially “a lot more” than the 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas originally estimated, said Noble Energy’s country manager for Cyprus John Tomich yesterday, as Cyprus Mail reports. Houston-based Noble is the first and so far only company to win an offshore concession in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, known as block 12, though bids are currently being evaluated by the government for the remaining blocks.

Exploratory drilling conducted by Noble revealed an estimated gross natural gas reserve of 5 to 8 tcf, with a gross mean of 7 Tcf. “We made that nice discovery of 7 tcf but we think there is a lot more potentially there and we will be chasing additional gas fields,” said Tomich, speaking at a press conference to announce Noble’s hosting of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference in Nicosia next March. Tomich said the company is right now focusing on the appraisal well to be conducted in the first or second quarter of 2013 depending on rig availability. He said Noble will be also searching for oil beneath the natural gas reservoir, noting however that the probability for oil is “small but not zero”. “Geologically there is no reason why the oil couldn’t be there, it is just a matter of where, how much of it and how deep,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Danish School Evacuated After Bomb Threat Letter

COPENHAGEN, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — Danish police on Friday evacuated the a business school in its second largest city Aarhus after it received a bomb threat letter earlier the same day.

Some 2,000 students were evacuated from the Aarhus School of Business, as police cleared an area of about 20,000 to 30,000 square meters around the school site. “We got a notification from the school at 10:09 this morning as it had received a letter that containing a bomb threat,” police commissioner Mogens Broendum told Danish public broadcaster DR News…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

‘Dutch Super Elite’ Implicated in Child Sex Trafficking

WASHINGTON — A high-ranking Dutch official, who’s retiring this week, is being honored for his work. But human rights advocates say Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink doesn’t deserve praise; he deserves prison.

Demmink is being accused of raping two teenage boys, now men, during a visit to Turkey in 1990s. One of them recently shared his story on Capitol Hill.

“I was afraid to say no, and I was very young and very innocent,” one victim testified, describing the emotional scars from childhood.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Former Anti-Semitic EU Parliament Member Now Fights for Israel

A leading member of a Hungarian anti-Semitic party, notorious for his provocative comments about Jews has discovered that he is a Jew himself.

Ultra nationalist Csanad Szegedi of the far-right Jobbik Party had accused Jews of ‘buying up’ the country, railed about the ‘Jewishness’ of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols.

That was until it was revealed that his grandmother was a survivor of Auschwitz death camp and his grandfather was a forced labour camp veteran.

After weeks of internet rumours, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jews, making him one too under Jewish law even though he does not practice the faith.

Since then, the 30-year-old has been politically exiled from Jobbik with his political career on the brink of collapse.

Under pressure, Szegedi resigned last month from all party positions and gave up his Jobbik membership and last week the party asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well.

Since 2009, he has served in the European Parliament in Brussels as one of the party’s three EU lawmakers, a position he says he wants to keep.


This week, during the debate in the EU Parliament on allowing the European market to have free access to Israeli pharamaceuticals, the Szegedi — who did not relinquish his post there — had only warm words for the Jewish state:

For decades, Israel has been inside one of the most politically unstable regions of the Earth. Despite all the difficulties on how to build a modern democracy, the Jewish state has demonstrated that there can be freedom and peace for the people, where there are normally dictatorships and hatred. The European Parliament has the strong ethical and moral obligation to support any moves to bring together Israel and the European Union, as part of Europe’s cultural sense of Israel. Israel is a state that continually demonstrates the maturity of respect for human rights, and therefore the EU should beware of whether they interfere in Israel’s internal affairs. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish peace as soon as possible to the people of the Middle East.

The parliament passed the law, whch was another huge setback for the “boycott Israel” crowd. But they also lost a former champion.

           — Hat tip: Jedilson Bonfim[Return to headlines]

Ireland: President of Republic [Western Sahara] Received [By] Leader of Sinn Fein

Dublin — President of the Republic, Secretary General Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz was received by the leader of the second largest opposition party in Ireland (Sinn Fein), Gerry Adams, according to sources close to the presidential delegation. President Mohamed Abdelaziz recalled the obstinacy of the Moroccan government, which blocked all efforts of the international community for any solution to the conflict in Western Sahara and its refusal to cooperate with the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ambassador Christopher Ross…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italy: Lazio and Lombardy to Hold Elections Before February

Both regional juntas are awash in political scandals

(ANSA) — Rome, October 26 — The Italian regions of Lazio and Lombardy, in which the regional juntas have been awash in two separate political funds scandals in recent months, announced on Friday that are set to hold administrative elections between December and February.

The central Lazio region, where the capital city of Rome is located, will hold elections between the end of January and early February, according to sources close to the junta. The exact election dates will be announced towards mid-November.

Instead, the northern Italian Lombardy region, in which the business capital of Milan is located, will hold its next elections “on a Sunday between December 16 and January 27”, according to comments made by regional president Roberto Formigoni to journalists.

Lazio governor Renata Polverini stepped down in September after the regional caucus leader Franco Fiorito was arrested for alleged embezzlement. Lombardy governor Roberto Formigoni is under pressure to resign after the housing commissioner of Milan’s regional government was arrested earlier this month for having allegedly paid organized criminals to secure his elections victory.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Three Handed Life Sentences for WWII Nazi Massacre in Italy

Another three former Nazi officials acquitted

(ANSA) — Rome, October 26 — Three former Nazi officials were handed life sentences on Friday by a military appeals court in Rome for their roles in the deaths of some 400 civilians in the central Italian region of Tuscany during World War II.

The three former German officials of the ‘Hermann Goring’ division, who are now in their 90s, were sentenced to life for their roles in massacres that took place in the Spring of 1944 on the Apennine mountain range in central Italy.

Another three men were acquitted.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Alfano Tipped to Succeed Berlusconi, PDL Prepares Primaries

But some skeptical about ex-premier’s ‘retirement’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 25 — Party Secretary Angelino Alfano is favourite to be the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party’s candidate in elections next spring after Silvio Berlusconi said he would not stand for a fourth term as Italian premier.

Berlusconi said Wednesday that his party would hold primaries in December to decide who will lead them to the polls.

So far former Veneto governor and minister Giancarlo Galan and Daniela Santanche’, an undersecretary in Berlusconi’s last government, have announced they will run in the primaries and other candidates may well throw their hats into the ring. Alfano is the front-runner though, thanks in no small degree to Berlusconi seemingly making him his anointed heir last year, when the media magnate proclaimed the 41-year-old party secretary.

Up to then Alfano had served as justice minister in Berlusconi’s third administration, which started in 2008 and ran until the financial crisis led to its collapse last November.

He is widely seen as a moderate and someone who is open to dialogue with the opposite side of the political spectrum. This has not always been the case in recent years when the centre left and centre right were often locked in bitter slanging matches that have made cross-party compromise virtually impossible.

Santanche, 51, is a fierce Berlusconi loyalist from the right wing of the PdL.

Her chances of success may be hampered by friction caused by her recent calls for all the senior levels of the PdL to be fired following corruption scandals that have hit the party in the regions of Lazio around Rome and Lombardy around Milan.

Galan is a Padua native who was governor of Veneto from 1995 to 2005 and agriculture minister and then culture minister in Berlusconi’s last government.

He is likely to have strong support in the wealthier northern regions. But Berlusconi said he was stepping down to make way for the younger generation and, at 56, Galan may not fit the bill on this front. Some commentators have spoken of 35-year-old former youth policies minister Giorgia Meloni as a potential candidate as she could represent the face of renovation for the party. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, one of the first PdL members to call for the party to hold primaries, was also seen a possible runner, although he said on Thursday he would not stand because he has a city to manage.

Whoever wins the primaries will have a challenge on his hands to boost the PdL’s fortunes before the next year’s elections, which must be held before May.

The party’s ratings in the polls have been further hit by the corruption scandals after its support was cut by Berlusconi being forced to resign last year with the financial crisis threatening to spiral out of control.

The PdL, the biggest group in parliament at the moment, have slipped to third in the polls behind the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star movement.


Berlusconi’s decision, which he said he made “for the love of Italy”, received applause from many quarters.

“With the decision he made yesterday, Berlusconi changed tomorrow,” said Alfano.

But some doubted whether the 76-year-old would follow through. “Wait before writing the headlines because you never know,” said two-time Italian premier Romano Prodi, who led centre-left coalitions to victory over Berlusconi in elections in Italy in 1996 and 2006.

Umberto Bossi, a former ally of Berlusconi’s and the ex head of the Northern League, expressed incredulity.

“No, I don’t believe it,” said Bossi. He added that Berlusconi’s announcement was unlikely to lead to the League patching up its alliance with Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party. The League and the PdL broke off their long-standing coalition last year, when Berlusconi decided to support Premier Mario Monti’s emergency technocrat administration after he quit from the helm of government. “We’ve decided to run alone anyway,” said Bossi, who was forced to step down as leader of the pro-devolution League because of a corruption scandal earlier this year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors Seek 20-Month Sentence for Puglia Governor

Vendola accused of abuse of office, illegal favors

(ANSA) — Bari, October 25 — Prosecutors in southern Italy on Thursday said Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola should spend 20 months in prison for alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Vendola, leader of the leftwing Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party, is suspected of unlawfully appointing a local chief of surgeons, Paolo Sardelli, at Bari’s San Paolo hospital in 2010.

Vendola has denied any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors requested the same sentence for Lea Cosentino, the former head of the health board in Bari whom Vendola fired in 2010 after she was placed under house arrest during a graft investigation.

Vendola has said the case against him is based solely on testimony from Cosentino.

“She is accusing me due to her strong resentment,” he says.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Alitalia to Give Up Seven Milan-Rome Slots

EasyJet will have access to peak transit times

(ANSA) — Rome, October 25 — Italy’s antitrust authority has ruled that Italy’s flagship carrier Alitalia must give up seven slots on its monopoly Rome-Milan route to competitor EasyJet.

The ruling overturns an ad hoc legislative decree that amended the suspended antitrust laws in 2008, allowing Alitalia an attempt to salvage its leading position in the Italian market and repay a government bridge loan of 300 million euros to the then almost insolvent carrier.

Probes carried out last April by the antitrust authorities that led to the ruling said that there is “a lack of proper competition between rail and air transport” and that Alitalia was running a monopoly.

The airline said that it lost 2 million passengers and 50% of its earnings in the space of three years as a result of high-speed rail companies like the Frecciarossa, effectively confirming the competitive threat.

However, Alitalia’s third-quarter results released Thursday showed a net profit of 27 million euros in contrast to second-quarter losses of 70 million euros and total revenues up 4% to 1.126 billion euros from 1.080 billion earned in the same period in 2011. The slots apply especially to “peak transit hours in the morning and evening,” the antitrust authority said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Mussolini’s Granddaughter Confirms Will Run for Premier

Says will fight for women and children

(ANSA) — Rome, October 26 — Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, confirmed Friday she would run in primaries to be the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party’s premier candidate after Silvio Berlusconi said he would not run in next year’s elections.

Mussolini, 50, a former model with a neofascist past, said her platform would be aimed at improving conditions for children and mothers who “live a hellish life” while parliament “doesn’t give much of a hoot about them, by and large”.

The announcement came two days before the anniversary of her grandfather’s 1922 March on Rome which set the stage for his 20-year rule.

PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano, 42, is favourite to pick up the 76-year-old Berlusconi’s mantle in mid-December primaries with the declared aim of keeping the centre left out of power.

The main centre-left force, the Democratic Party (PD), is currently polling around 27% to the PdL’s third-placed 15% with comic Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star anti-establishment movement second with 20%.

Many pundits see PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, 61, as likely to carry on from technocrat Mario Monti who took over from Berlusconi at the height of the euro crisis almost a year ago.

But Bersani is facing a strong challenge in next month’s PD primaries from Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, 37.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Minetti Resigns With Other Councillors From Lombard Assembly

Council to be dissolved ahead of elections after scandals

(ANSA) — Milan, October 26 — Nicole Minetti, Silvio Berlusconi’s former dental hygienist who is accused of pimping for the ex-premier, was among 74 members of the Lombardy regional council to resign on Friday.

The resignations come with the assembly set to be dissolved for early elections after a series of corruption scandals caused Governor Roberto Formigoni’s administration of the region around Milan to collapse.

Minetti is among three people on trial for allegedly procuring an underage prostitute for the ex-premier’s ‘bunga bunga’ parties.

The 27-year-old resisted pressure to step down from the assembly after the sex scandal broke

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Prodi Reiterates Doubts About Berlusconi Quitting

‘We’ll see’ says two-time Italian premier

(ANSA) — Rome, October 26 — Two-time Italian premier Romano Prodi on Friday reiterated his doubts about whether his old rival Silvio Berlusconi has really retired from front-line politics.

Berlusconi ended months of speculation on Wednesday when he said he would not run for a fourth term as premier in elections next spring as the candidate for his centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

“There are some ways to retire and there are other ways. I retired,” said Prodi, who stepped out of the political limelight after the collapse of his 2006-2008 administration.

“We’ll see,” he added when asked if he expected surprises from Berlusconi.

Prodi, the former president of the European Commission, led centre-left coalitions to victory over Berlusconi in elections in Italy in 1996 and 2006.

Earlier this month he was appointed as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for the Sahel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy Ex-PM Berlusconi Threatens to Topple Monti Government

Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to bring down the government of technocrats led by Mario Monti.

Mr Berlusconi said the cabinet was leading Italy into a “spiral of recession” and that his centre-right PDL party would decide in the coming days whether it would end its support.

It is the largest party in parliament and the move could trigger early polls.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Mayor Arrested for ‘Rigging Contracts’ In Central Italy

Deputy mayor, 10 others behind bars for 12-mln-euro operation

(ANSA) — Viterbo, October 23 — A mayor and deputy mayor of a central Italian town were among a dozen arrests Tuesday probed for fixing tenders worth approximately 12 million euros. The mayor of Graffignano, Adriano Santori and his environment councillor, Luciano Cardoni, are accused of rigging contracts for waste collection, road maintenance and public-building repair, along with 10 other suspects. Another 51 people were placed under investigation for corruption, bid rigging and dereliction of duty. Police were probing the offices of implicated companies in the regions of Umbria, Veneto and Liguria.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Muted Protests Greet Wilders Malmö Visit

While protesters outnumbered those attending a speech by controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders in Malmö in southern Sweden on Saturday, the event passed off without incident.

“Our intelligence told us that we should be prepared for trouble,” a Malmö police officer told The Local.

But at the end of the event a colleague assured The Local that the day “had passed without incident with just minor disturbances”.

The frequent critic of Islam was a guest of the anti-Islam Swedish “Freedom of the Press Society” (Tryckfrihetssällskapet) and addressed an audience of approximately 100 people at a venue in Malmö’s western harbour.

Outside a crowd of around 300 gathered to protest at the presence of the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom.

The society’s president Ingrid Carlqvist explained the poor turnout in that the society had received many bogus applications for tickets.

In a heated confrontation, Carlqvist denounced the protesters as “screaming hordes of monkeys” whom she said had revealed her home address, claiming that she had been forced to stay in a Copenhagen hotel as a precaution.

Wilders’ arrival in Malmö was shrouded in secrecy with the location of his speech only revealed on Friday afternoon due to security concerns.

A heavy police presence surrounded the Kockums Fritid centre with officers confirming to The Local that the deployment was similar to that used for dealing with football hooliganism.

Protesters from Stockholm as well as Copenhagen chanting “no to racism and fascism” were joined by a large group of Scandinavian media.

While police confirmed that the demonstrators generally behaved in an orderly manner, several attendees, including some journalists, were pelted with eggs and oranges as they entered the venue.

Carlqvist welcomed Wilders on stage, describing as “one of the bravest freedom fighters in the world” and the 49-year duly spoke for almost an hour.

The Dutch politician told the assembled crowd that he “loved Sweden and its people” and added that “Malmö should not succumb to Islam”.

Wilders was applauded several times during his talk in particular where he defended freedom of speech and cited Winston Churchill as his inspiration.

He received largely sympathetic questions from the audience urging “Swedes to be good patriots” and that “patriotism is not fascism” before departing under armed guard.

The outspoken politician and author, who has received multiple death threats in the past, spent only a few hours in Malmö and left immediately after his speech to catch a flight home from Copenhagen.

The vast majority of protesters had meanwhile left by the time Wilders emerged from the venue with police telling the The Local that the cold weather had persuaded demonstrators to head home.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The EU Was Dreamed Up in French and German. That’s Why the British Have Never Fit in

by Ed West

Nick Clegg apparently speaks Dutch in Cabinet when Herman Van Rompuy turns up — surely reason enough for Cameron to sack him. The Deputy Prime Minister speaks five languages, the others being French, Spanish and German (and English), which must make him the most linguistically gifted Cabinet minister for over 40 years. Clegg is half-Dutch, a quarter Russian and married to a Spaniard, and has spent five years in Brussels — he may go back, in the increasingly unlikely event that Britain remains in the EU. In so many ways he’s representative of the new global ruling class that Christopher Lasch wrote of in his prophetic Revolt of the Elites: “far more cosmopolitan, or at least more restless and migratory, than their predecessors”. In particular Clegg has a particular Euro-elite mindset, increasingly rare in Britain, one of the hallmarks of which is multilingualism…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Islam is About Real Love, Not Just Lust’: The Party Girl Who’s Embraced a New Life as a Muslim Convert

Her conversion from Ibiza party girl to hijab-wearing Muslim in barely three months may well raise a few eyebrows — and she admits that her friends probably think it’s another one of her fads. But trainee teacher Heather Matthews, 27, says Islam has brought her ‘love and happiness’ that she never found in her old ‘shallow’ lifestyle. Mrs Matthews, a mother of two, converted to the faith four weeks ago — two months after returning from a holiday in Ibiza. And she says that the photographs of the ‘old her’ taken on that trip show all that is wrong with Western images of beauty…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Evil’ Nigerian People Smuggler Used Witchcraft to Terrify Girls Into Sex Slavery

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

An ‘evil’ Nigerian people smuggler who used witchcraft rituals to force terrified children to work as sex slaves has been convicted of trafficking and rape.

Young victims were raped, sexually abused and subjected to voodoo-style rituals once in the clutches of the trafficking ring.


The man responsible, Osezua Osolase, 42, was on the surface a recycling worker living in a terraced house in Gravesend, Kent. But he was in fact the British linchpin of a multi-million pound global child sex trafficking ring that used medieval ‘juju’ black magic to control its victims.

His home was a secret staging post for vulnerable teenage orphans as they were smuggled from Africa to several European countries.

Detectives discovered evidence that at least 28 victims were smuggled in and out of Britain by Osolase over a 14-month period, earning him up to £1.5million.

But the true figure could run into hundreds as the paedophile was overheard by one girl boasting he had been operating for 15 years as he tried to sell her for £60,000.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: A Fond Farewell to the Dandy

by Harry Mount

Well, it’s not quite goodbye — the Dandy will continue online from December; but its golden years as a comic that transfixed the country’s children are gone. In the 50s, circulation hit 2 million; it’s now down to 8,000. There’s a marvellous new show on at the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury, celebrating the Dandy’s 75th anniversary, which also falls in December (the cover of the first issue is pictured above). Not only is the artwork wonderful; there’s also something intensely moving about the unchanging identity of the cartoon characters through the decades. Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat had an extremely strong effect on the national psyche: producing a sort of collective nostalgia and innocence through four generations who shared the same characters.

The Dandy also had a minor role in winning the war. In one wonderful wartime issue in the show, Hitler and Himmler are portrayed as two ludicrous greedy buffoons, desperate for a feed: “Look mine wonderful Addie friend — someone has thrown away der big bully-beef tin without opening it,” says Himmler. “Bully for you, Hermy! It’s going to be bully for me, too!” says Hitler…

[JP note: And bully for Islam too.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: British ‘Terror Gang Planned to Buy Five AK47 Guns’

A British terror cell allegedly planned to buy five AK47 assault rifles by borrowing £100,000 in loans, a court heard.

The alleged ringleader of a British jihadist group, Irfan Naseer, boasted how he could buy a grenade for £1,500 and a M16 assault rifle. Secretly recorded conversations heard the group saying they could get the weapons from a “gangster” they knew but Naseer he couldn’t go to him because “he knows what I want to do”, Woolwich Crown Court heard. The al-Qaeda inspired gang, from Birmingham, is accused of plotting to use eight suicide bombers to detonate rucksacks packed with explosives in crowded places to cause “mass death” and carnage on the streets of Britain. Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all unemployed from Birmingham, are the alleged “senior members” and were among 12 people arrested and charged last year. The trio deny between them a total of 12 terror charges including planning a bombing campaign, recruiting others for terrorism and terrorism fundraising…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: EDL Leader Set to Spend Xmas in Jail

The leader of the far-right English Defence League is set to spend Christmas in prison after a judge rejected an application for bail. Stephen Lennon, 29, who also uses the name Tommy Robinson, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on October 20 on suspicion of possessing a false passport. He tried to use a passport in the name of “Andrew McMaster” to enter the United States on September 10 this year, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Court News, 26 October 2012

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: EDL Moves Protest to Parliament

Far-right group English Defence League (EDL) will protest outside Parliament today. The EDL originally planned to demonstrate in Walthamstow, but the MET Police banned all marches there for 30 days. EDL says it’s a movement opposed to Islamic extremism, but critics say it’s racist. Waltham Forest Councillor Chris Robbins says the ban “is a victory for the ordinary residents.” But EDL has told the police it will try to stage more protests there once the ban is lifted.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Incest — A Favoured Cause of Old Lefties

My article last week about the radical Left’s defence of paedophilia in the 1970s provoked all manner of paroxysms from today’s Lefties. How dare I blacken the name of Hattie Harman by pointing out that she became legal officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) soon after it campaigned for a more relaxed approach to sex with children?

But I had private communications, too, from people who encountered the “libertarian” Left during those years. “In the late Sixties and early Seventies, I worked at a school operated by the Inner London Education Authority,” wrote a retired schoolteacher.

“The teachers there were almost all Marxists or, as they would have said, Maoists. They were supporting an initiative to lower or abolish the age of consent, which they said was just a way for the upper classes to keep the working classes in their place. According to them, children were sexual beings who had a right to express their sexuality. I was one of the few parents on the staff and said that this was just an excuse for dirty old men to abuse children… I was told that I was brainwashed and bourgeois.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Kevin Carroll’s Election Campaign

I mentioned a few days ago that Kevin Carroll, acting Leader of the EDL while his cousin is in custody was also arrested, in his case for not obvious reason. The suspicion is that it is to hamper his campaign as the British Freedom candidate for Bedfordshire in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on 15th November 2012. Even if you are not a resident of Bedfordshire and thus eligible to vote, out of interest some details of the campaign are here…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Osezua Osolase Used Witchcraft on Trafficked Girls

A man from Kent has been found guilty of trafficking three teenage girls from Nigeria into Europe for prostitution.

Osezua Osolase, 42, of Beaumont Drive, Gravesend, carried out African witchcraft “Juju” rituals on the girls, a jury at Canterbury Crown Court heard.

One of the girls described the Juju ceremony performed on her in Nigeria. During the ritual, samples of blood were extracted from the girl and her head hair and pubic hair were also cut.

She was then told to swear an oath of silence.

“Juju is a well established belief but Osolase corrupted it in a bid to gain control and bend the wills of his victims.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Powerful Anti-Tank Mines Used by British Troops in Afghanistan Are Stolen From Goods Train

A shipment of powerful anti-tank mines have been stolen from a goods train [in England].

Thieves are thought to have snatched the mines, used by British troops in Afghanistan, when the train was forced to stop because of a body on the track.

The munitions were discovered missing when the train pulled into a station 90 miles further down the line.


The theft took place as the mines were being transported from Defence Munitions Longtown, in Cumbria, to Marchwood Military Port near Southampton, which is operated by 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps.

The train is understood to have been held up for about an hour near Birmingham because of a fatality further down the line at Kidlington, Oxfordshire. The munitions were discovered missing when the train arrived in Didcot, Oxfordshire, at 7.30am.

A source said: ‘A railway worker noticed the sliding door of the wagon was open and shortly afterwards a number of police with a sniffer dog turned up and the wagon was placed in a secured shed.

‘It’s terrifying that this could happen. Who knows who could get their hands on the explosives.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Pazeer Ahmed Jailed for Murder

Haroon Bhatti died in hospital after being found at his home in Aberford Road, Wakefield, on 23 January.

Leeds Crown Court heard the boy was covered from head to toe in scars and bruises, had a bite mark and had been burned with cigarettes and an iron.

His father Pazeer Ahmed, 34, was convicted of murder and will serve a minimum of 19 years in jail.

Ahmed had admitted manslaughter, claiming he was suffering emotional problems and an “abnormality of mental function”.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Respect Activist: Was Hitler the Bad Guy?

MP George Galloway has emphasised that his Respect Party “abhors and campaigns against racism” after being alerted to comments by a party officer questioning whether Adolf Hitler was “the bad guy”. Naz Kahn, who last week was being praised on Facebook for her selection as a new woman’s officer for Respect, made the comments on the same site on September 30. Responding to a video called The Palestine you need to know, she said: “It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler. What have the Jews done good in this world??” She later added: “No, I’m not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across. We have worse people than Hitler in this world now.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Victory Rally in Walthamstow Saturday 27 October

The police restriction preventing the EDL from entering Walthamstow is a major victory for our movement. The massive demonstrations planned by UAF, We Are Waltham Forest and Muslim communities, and pressure of our grass roots campaigning, helped to achieve this victory. This has been acknowledged by many including London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold. The EDL is weak and isolated, while our movement grows stronger. This victory must be celebrated!


[JP note: A hollow victory for evil, a temporary setback for decency and common sense.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Walthamstow: Campaigners Celebrate ‘Victory’ Over EDL

A MAIN road in Walthamstow has been part closed by police this lunchtime for a rally against the far-right English Defence League (EDL).

An estimated 250 people have turned out for the static protest in Hoe Street, outside the former EMD cinema. Police say the demonstration must end at 2pm when the road will be reopened. The EDL, which claims to be a movement opposed to Islamic extremism but which critics say is racist, wanted to march through the borough today (Saturday October 27). But the government approved a ban on all marches for 30 days earlier this week following police intelligence that there could be violence and disruption.

The Met then also imposed special “conditions” on protesting which prevent the EDL and organisations associated with it from coming to Waltham Forest and holding a static protest. The Guardian witnessed two youths wearing flag of St George badges being escorted away from Walthamstow town centre by police at around 10.30am. But there have otherwise been no signs of potential supporters of the EDL in Walthamstow and the mood is generally calm in the town centre. There is a heavy police presence at train stations in the borough and the police have been stopping cars in areas such as the Bakers Arms on the Walthamstow and Leyton border…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Israel Moves to Block Trojan Computer Attack

Israeli police have disconnected their computers from the internet and banned memory sticks, as cyber war engulfs the Middle East.

Israeli police officers have been banned from using memory sticks or disks in their computers and had their equipment disconnected from the internet, in a frantic bid to prevent the injection of a dangerous virus named after the country’s military chief.

The dramatic move last week was no great surprise. It’s just another round in the cyber war which has engulfed the Middle East.

It may be a prelude to a real war between the Jewish state and Iran.

The Israeli police moves to try to shut out the trojan — a hidden malware programme which lurks within benign software and is programmed to destroy equipment or spy — came as a result of an “intelligence tip”.

The trojan was named after Benny Gantz, Israel’s Chief of General Staff

Benny Gantz-55, named after Israel’s top soldier, has not, yet, emerged. It is conceivable that the shutdown of the police facilities came just in time.

It serves as a reminder that cyber weapons are now very much in the vanguard of modern war.

Benny Gantz-55 may have been a prank. It may also have been generated by Iran’s burgeoning cyber warfare centres which have been rapidly expanded since Tehran’s nuclear programme was hit by the Stuxnet virus in 2010.

Most experts agree that that malware was created in a joint programme between the US and Israel. It broke over 1,000 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility, where the West believes Iran is refining uranium to weapons grade.

Since then, cyber war has escalated — but there is no longer anything “virtual” about it. These days, software like Stuxnet is designed to break hardware and disrupt the real world.

This year, communications between Iran’s oil refineries and offshore sites was disrupted.

Banks in Iran and Lebanon have been infected by the W32/Flame-A and Gauss viruses, which are thought to come from the same lab as Stuxnet.

Iran is blamed for a counter attack, singling out long-standing Arab rivals.

Oil company Aramco had 30,000 computers infected by a recent virus

The Shamoon virus shut down 30,000 computers at the Saudi state oil company Aramco and hit the Qatari state-run gas firm RasGas.

Middle Eastern countries suffer tens of thousands of malware attacks every day. As a result they are rushing to recruit the brightest computer experts to fill the ranks of new cyber armies.

In Israel, cyber warriors are celebrated as national heroes. A recent awards ceremony for technological brilliance in the Israeli Defence Forces at the armoured divisions’ headquarters in Latrun, soldier geeks were treated to a rousing pop concert attended by at least 3,500 other service personnel.

Israel’s intelligence minister Dan Merridor summed up why spods — people who spend long periods of time in internet chat rooms — are the new Spartans.

“I think being a small nation we can never rely on quantities, we always need to rely on quality — to be better than our competitors, enemies and adversaries,” he said.

“So even in this world of computers, we need to be at the forefront of the science. I hope that we will be able to be there in order to stop those who want to harm us and to do it better than others. This is a must for us.”

Iran takes a similar view.

“It has been a new front, a new game of war, something which the Iranians up until a couple of years ago were not equipped for or aware of such warfare,” said professor Sadegh Zibakalam at Tehran University.

“But it appears the Iranians have been able to defend themselves very efficiently. The revolutionary guard and various other military institutions in Iran have employed highly talented Iranian graduates, and we have three to four applied science faculties.”

The Gulf states’ small and largely foreign-trained armies are also rushing to catch up…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Benghazi: No Other Explanation Fits

A Mideast “Fast and Furious” emerging within weeks of the election would be devastating.

On October 4 in Canada Free Press, I wrote a column entitled Was Ambassador Stevens’ Death a Hit?, so suspicious did I find the circumstances surrounding the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya at that time. On October 25, I followed up with Obama’s Feet of Clay, in which I discussed the likelihood that President Barack Obama failed to react to the attack despite real-time knowledge of developments in Benghazi because he wished to obscure or bury evidence of the administration’s gun running activities to Libyan and Syrian rebels.

The reason for Obama’s desire to do so, in this scenario, would be twofold. One, because weapons were not only being provided to Libyan and Syrian rebels, but were in fact being provided to jihadists across the Middle East with whom Obama sympathizes, but who are enemies of the US. Two, because Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself may have become a liability for reasons still uncertain (although my first column outlines one possibility). The fact that Stevens’ mission, and that of other US operatives in Libya was a clandestine one has been established; this is certainly a likely reason for Obama to want a lid kept on it. If revealed, obviously this would substantially threaten his re-election chances.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Clinton Asked for More Security, Obama Said No

(The Examiner) Last night, it was revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered more security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi before it was attacked where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were murdered by Al-Qaeda but President Obama denied the request.

The news broke on TheBlazeTV’s “Wilkow!” hosted by Andrew Wilkow, by best-selling author, Ed Klein who said the legal counsel to Clinton had informed him of this information.

Klein also said that those same sources said that former President Bill Clinton has been “urging” his wife [Hillary] to release official State Department documents that prove she called for additional security at the compound in Libya, which would almost certainly result in President Obama losing the election.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Egyptian Diplomat Wanted for Trafficking Ugandan Girls

The Uganda government is in a legal and diplomatic dilemma over an Egyptian diplomat it accuses of trafficking in humans. The incident happened in Kampala in June, but the official has since been transferred back to Cairo. The Observer has learnt from various sources that police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the ministry of Foreign Affairs have been cautious in their approach for fear of causing a diplomatic row. “We would have asked for a waiver [of his immunity] if he was still in the country … As things are now, it is a bit difficult. But my lawyers are studying the case,” said James Mugume, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs. “What I heard is that the girl wanted to do kyeyo (odd jobs abroad) and that she applied and even paid for the job. These are complicated cases. You cannot know until you study the law, both local and international,” he said. It is alleged that the diplomat, while serving in Uganda, met two Ugandan girls, and promised them jobs in Cairo, Egypt. However, on arrival in Cairo, the girls, whose identities are still concealed as investigations continue, were instead subjected to slavery…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Most Israeli Jews for Apartheid Regime in Israel

Most want to take away voting rights from Israeli Arabs and deny it to Palestinians in case the West Bank is annexed. They also want separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians and the separation of Jewish and Arab children. This “picture is a very, very sick one” for Israel. Perhaps more than racism, it embodies naked power over the defeated.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) — A majority of Israeli Jews would support an apartheid regime in Israel and marginalise Palestinians in case the West Bank was annexed, a survey shows. A majority also explicitly favours discrimination against the state’s Arab citizens. The study by public opinion firm Dialog, which is headed by Tel Aviv Prof Camil Fuchs, was commissioned New Israel Fund’s Yisraela Goldblum Fund based on a sample of 503 interviewees.

Survey results indicate that 59 per cent of Israeli Jews wants preference for Jews over Arabs in public sector employment. Almost half (49 per cent) wants the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 per cent do not want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 per cent do not want their children in the same classes as Arab children.

At least a third of Jews wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 per cent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

A large majority, 74 per cent, is in favour of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Of these, 24 per cent believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 per cent believe they are “a necessary situation.”

About 47 per cent wants part of Israel’s Arab population to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and 36 per cent support transferring some of the Arab towns from Israel to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for keeping some of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Among Jews, 58 per cent already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 per cent think such a system is not in force here.

Over a third (38 per cent) of Jews wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them, whilst 48 per cent object.

The survey results, published in the daily Haaretz, distinguish among the various communities in Israeli society: secular, observant, religious, ultra-Orthodox and former Soviet immigrants. The ultra-Orthodox, in contrast to those who described themselves as religious or observant, hold the most extreme positions against the Palestinians. An overwhelming majority (83 per cent) of Haredim are in favour of segregated roads and 71 per cent are in favour of transfer.

The ultra-Orthodox are also the most anti-Arab group: 70 per cent of them support legally barring Israeli Arabs from voting, 82 per cent support preferential treatment from the state toward Jews, and 95 per cent are in favour of discrimination against Arabs in job hiring.

Secular Israelis appear to be the least racist: 68 per cent of them would not mind having Arab neighbours in their apartment building, 73 per cent would not mind Arab students in their children’s class and 50 per cent believe Arabs should not be discriminated against in admission to workplaces.

Russian-Israelis are in the middle, showing the highest rate of satisfaction with life in Israel (77 per cent). On average, 69 per cent of Israelis are satisfied with life in Israel.

Some 59 per cent believe apartheid is practiced “in a few” or “many fields” and 11 per cent do not know.

In commenting the results, journalist Gideon Levy said that the picture that emerges shows an Israel that “is a very, very sick” with “Israelis [. . .] openly, shamelessly, and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists.”

Jew leaders contacted by AsiaNews note however that the Israel’s picture is not the most important thing. Facts on the ground count more.

Since Israel’s creation, Arabs inside Israel have suffered discrimination, Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza have had to endure intolerance, and Arab rights and land have been trampled upon.

For these Jews, Israeli policies are not the expression of “ideological racism,” but the result of naked power relations between victors and vanquished.

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

Olive Orchard Jihad

The jihad against the Jews of Israel is waged by Arab Muslims lobbing rockets from Gaza (at least 80 in the latest barrage launched randomly at civilian targets), by Arab Muslims trying to sneak through checkpoints into Israel with knives up their sleeves or (in just the latest case) 8 pipe-bombs in a backpack, and also by…raiding the olive orchards of Jews in Judea and Samaria, stealing the fruit and cutting down trees, as well as by damaging their own trees and then claiming that the Jews did it (the inflammatory claim that “the Evil Jews are destroying the olive trees of the Pooor Persecuted Palestinians!’ has been a staple of the ‘Palestinian’ Arab Muslim propaganda for decades). Two recent reports on what might be called “olive orchard jihad”…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Panicking Cow Kills Palestinian in Muslim Feast

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A panicking cow killed a Palestinian man who was trying to slaughter the beast on Saturday during the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha, a Gaza health official said.

Muslims around the world slaughter sheep, cows and goats during the four-day holiday that began Friday to commemorate the sacrifice by their Prophet Ibrahim — known to Christians and Jews as Abraham.

But accidents are common as people frequently buy animals to slaughter at home instead of relying on professional butchers. The festive atmosphere surrounding the site of the slaughtering also tends to make the animals fidgety.

In addition to the death, Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra said that 150 other people were hospitalized in the Gaza Strip with knife wounds or other injuries caused by animals trying to break away.

There were also two similar incidents in Pakistan on Saturday…

           — Hat tip: Paul Green[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bosnian Muslim Senad Hadzic Walks to Mecca Via Syria

A Bosnian Muslim man has walked 5,650km (3,503 miles) to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and says God kept him safe in war-torn Syria.

Senad Hadzic, 47, told the BBC that he spent several hours at the Syrian border haggling to get a visa. Later he had to negotiate his way through numerous checkpoints — some manned by the army, others by rebels. “Some of them even kissed the Koran I was carrying,” he said, adding that he also had a Bible in his backpack…

[JP note: Bully for him.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Car Bomb Blast Damages Church in Eastern Syria

DAMASCUS, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — A booby-trapped car went off in front of al-Serian Church in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al- Zour on Saturday, causing damages to the church’s facade, the state-run SANA news agency reported. There have been no reports on casualties by the blast, which is the latest in a series of explosions that rocked Syria during the first couple of days of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which started on Friday…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq as Muslims Mark Eid Festival

Baghdad (CNN) — A wave of attacks that came as Muslims marked the second day of Eid al-Adha, a major festival, claimed at least 15 lives in the Baghdad area and in the northern Sunni city of Mosul, police officials said Saturday. At least five Shiite pilgrims were killed when a roadside bomb in Taji, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, struck a minibus carrying them to visit Al-Askariya, or the “Golden Mosque.” A dozen more were wounded in the blast. Police said most of those killed and injured were Iranian pilgrims.

A roadside bomb also exploded in an outdoor market in al-Mamel Shiite neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 13 others, police officials said. In Mosul, about 380 kilometers north of Baghdad, five people were killed and seven more wounded in four separate attacks in different locations in and around the city, according to police officials. Most of those affected were from minority Shabak sect. The attacks including two shootings and two explosions targeting houses and shops related to the sect.

Baghdad’s Shiite-dominated government has blamed the recent attacks on Sunni insurgents with ties to militant network al Qaeda. Last month, 365 people, including police and soldiers, were killed, making it the deadliest month since August 2010.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe is Turning Away From Turkey — And the Rest of the World

by Orhan Pamuk

Whatever happened to liberté, égalité, fraternité? Fear of Muslims is putting Europe’s secular tradition at risk

I have spent my entire life at the borders of continental Europe. From the window of my home or office, I’ve looked out over the Bosphorus to see Asia on the other side; and so, in thinking about Europe and modernity, I have always felt, like the rest of the world, just a little bit provincial. Like the many millions who live outside the west, I have had to understand my own identity while observing Europe from afar, and so, in the process of working out my identity, I’ve often wondered what Europe could represent for me and for us all. This is an experience I share with the majority of the world’s population, but because Istanbul, my city, is situated just where Europe begins — or maybe where Europe ends — my thoughts and my resentments have been a little more pressing and constant…

[Reader comment by UndyingCincinnatus on 26 October 2012 at 9:57 pm.]

Fear of Muslims is putting Europe’s secular tradition at risk

You seem to be postulating that this is the fault of those who look at Muslim countries and decide “no thanks”, a position I feel is entirely reasonable. If Muslims want to be accepted into Western civilisation, they should look at why people are so unwilling to accept them, rather than blindly shouting racism.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Muslim Pilgrims Stone Devil in Symbolic Hajj Rite

Millions of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia on Friday furiously cast pebbles in a symbolic stoning of the devil, carrying out a final rite of hajj, as Muslims around the world celebrated the start of Islam’s biggest holiday, the Feast of Sacrifice. After stoning three walls symbolizing Satan in a rejection of sin and temptation, male pilgrims changed out of the seamless terrycloth robes of pilgrimage and shaved their heads, as a sign of renewal. Women — and those men who prefer not to undergo a complete shave — had a lock of hair clipped. Though pilgrims will repeat the stoning ritual for at least two more days, they could now call themselves “hajjis,” referring to those who have done the pilgrimage…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Turkey Fails to Appeal to Investors, WB Says

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 25 — Turkey ranks 71st out of 185 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2013 Smarter Regulation for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises’ report, the same position it was in last year. “Turkey managed to maintain its ranking from the year before given that all the other countries in the sampling were able to make as many economic reforms as Turkey.” One major area in which Turkey has made significant reforms is the field of construction permits, where the government has made dealing with construction permits easier by eliminating requirements to build shelters in all nonresidential buildings with a total area of less than 1,500 square meters. The government has also made it cheaper to receive construction permits, and the report estimates it is now four times easier to receive such a permit. “In addition, Turkey made enforcing contracts easier by introducing a new civil procedure law,” read the report, as daily Hurriyet writes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Russian Muslims Swarm Moscow for ‘Feast of Sacrifice’

Muslims in Russia are celebrating the Feast of Sacrifice, an Islamic holiday dedicated to the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). More than 150,000 prayers are taking place across Moscow at traditional prayer halls, and unconventional spots like golf courses. The main celebration of Eid al-Adha — known as Kurban Bayram in Russia — began at Moscow’s Cathedral Mosque at 8:30am local time. Despite the cold and rainy weather, worshipers gathered outside of mosques in the pre-dawn hours. Since there was limited space in the prayer halls, thousands poured out onto the streets as a mixture of rain and snow fell.

Six sites near mosques and in designated locations were set to host Muslims in the Russian capital. Some 3,000 law enforcement officers were deployed to guard the sites. For security reasons, worshipers were not allowed to bring large bags or packs to the sites. Metal detectors were also set up to scan for potentially dangerous objects or weapons.

The sheer volume of cars and people created kilometer-long traffic jams on streets neighboring the mosques. Thousands of Muscovites had a severe case of road rage, saying they could not get to work or drop children off at school on time because Muslims were marching in the streets to prayers, causing traffic jams. Moscow residents who live near the mosques also said the celebrations seem slightly noisier than in previous years. Public prayers had finished by noon, and the huge crowds dispersed and traffic in Moscow returned to normal levels. Police reported that the celebrations passed peacefully without any major incidents.

Muslim worshipers have also been known to slaughter sacrificial animals for Eid in the streets of Moscow, a practice that has been banned in recent years. Leaders of the Muslim community of Moscow argue that these and other public disturbances are due to an insufficient number of mosques in the city. For a number of years, Islamic leaders have asked city authorities to allow for more mosques to be built — a proposition that even won support from former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. But the move was met with widespread protest, with Muscovites holding a number of demonstrations against the construction of new mosques. Mayor Sergey Sobyanin bowed to public pressure and put the proposal on hold…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: British Army Medic and Royal Marine Were Not Shot Dead by Own Forces

A female Army medic and a Royal Marine were not shot dead by British forces during a confused fire fight, investigators concluded, but they could not rule out the possibility they were killed by a rogue Afghan policeman.

Corporal Channing Day, from 3 Medical Regiment, and Corporal David O’Connor, from 40 Commando, were shot dead on foot patrol in Helmand in a shoot out which also killed an Afghan policeman. Two days after their deaths, the Ministry of Defence was still unable to give a clear account of how they died, but said a preliminary investigation had refuted Afghan police claims the Britons had been shot by their own comrades. Cpl Day, 25, from Co Down in Northern Ireland, was only the third British servicewoman to die in the Afghan conflict since 2001 and the killings took the British death toll to 435…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Animal VC for Dog Who Died of a Broken Heart: Theo’s Handler Killed by Taliban

An army dog which died of a broken heart hours after his handler was shot dead has been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Theo, a springer spaniel cross, received the PDSA Dickin Medal for life-saving bravery in Afghanistan.

The 22-month-old dog suffered a fatal seizure when his handler, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, 26, was shot dead by the Taliban in March 2011.

The pair had uncovered 14 bombs and hoards of weapons in five months in Helmand Province — more than any other dog and handler in the conflict.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Clashes in Indian-Controlled Kashmir After Eid-Ul-Adha Prayers

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — Police fired tear gas and made baton charge Saturday to disperse anti- India demonstrators in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said. The protest broke out outside Eidgah (prayer grounds) in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, after Eid-ul-Adha congregational prayers.

“Clashes broke out after police and paramilitary troopers tried to stop the demonstrators,” said Muddasir Ahmad, a local resident. “Primarily the protests were against the detention of separatist leaders.” Authorities have placed separatist leaders including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani and moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest, fearing their participation in Eid prayers would trigger massive demonstrations. Mirwaiz is also the region’s chief preacher and was supposed to deliver a sermon at Eidgah in old city. The police resistance triggered stone pelting. Youth were seen hurling stones and brick pieces at the contingents of police and India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Blind in One Eye, The Orangutan Fighting for Life After Being Shot More Than 100 Times by Palm Oil Plantation Thugs

An endangered orangutan is fighting for life after being shot more than 100 times with an air rifle in a cruel attack.

The female ape, called Aan,has been blinded in one eye and has sustained other serious wounds to her body after being struck repeatedly by pellets.

She was hit 37 times in the head by the lead slugs, while 67 projectiles penetrated other parts of her body in the shooting, which took place in an oil palm plantation in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

New Delhi Condemns Ferrari Support for Marines at Indian GP

F1 team to show Italian Navy flag

(ANSA) — New Delhi, October 26 — The Indian government spoke out on Friday against Ferrari’s decision to display the Italian Navy flag on their race cars at this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix in solidarity with two Italian marines on trial in India over the shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of homicide after allegedly mistaking the fishermen for pirates during an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Kerala in southern india in February. The shooting triggered a diplomatic row between Italy and India.

The Italian government, citing United Nations conventions, says its courts should have jurisdiction over the case and has been pressing for the marines return to Italy.

The pair are being held while the Indian Supreme Court considers Italy’s claim for jurisdiction.

“To use sporting events to promote causes not of a sporting nature is incoherent with the sporting spirit,” the Indian ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement. Indian fishermen protested earlier in the day after the cars drived by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa carried he emblem of the Italian Navy during a practice session at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

“We cannot approve of the government turning a blind eye to this act, especially because the two marines are still undergoing trial,” the Secretary of the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), T. Peter, told daily newspaper The Hindu.

Peter added that the decision was an affront to the Indian fishing community and to Indian society at large.

Business newspaper Mint asked on its opinion page: “Who are the real victims here? The two military officers who, all things considered, are being given a fair trial, or the two fishermen who were killed?”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Altaf Hussain Felicitates Muslims on Eid

KARACHI: The Chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has felicitated Muslims living in Pakistan together with those living throughout the world on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. He appealed to the Haq Parast people not to forget the poor and disadvantaged people while celebrating the Eid. Hussain said that Eid-ul-Azha is the Sunnah of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and it gives us the lesson of sacrificing everything for seeking the pleasure and will of Allah. He complimented each and every worker of the MQM on the occasion of Eid and prayed Allah to shower His blessings on the Muslims Ummah. He prayed Almighty Allah for protecting Pakistan from internal and external threats, eliminating religious extremism and fanaticism, establishing peace and tranquillity in the country, and raising an honest leadership in the country. He also prayed Almighty Allah to protect the brave and determined workers of the movement and give success to the just struggle for the rights of the people. He prayed Allah to foil the conspiracies hatched against the movement. Hussain paid glowing tributes to the martyrs and said that their sacrifices would not remain unfruitful. He prayed Allah to give the families of the martyrs and the missing persons the courage and patience to bear their great loss. He also appealed to the Haq Parast people and workers not to forget the families of the martyrs, the missing persons and make every effort to win their hearts. staff report

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Police: Taliban Shoot Dead 5 Civilians Grabbed Off Bus in Eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Police say Taliban militants have pulled five Afghan civilians off a bus in eastern Afghanistan and shot them dead. Ghazni province Deputy Police Chief Mohammad Hussain says the insurgents stopped the bus Friday as it was driving in Andar district on the main road headed south to Kandahar city. He says they pulled out five people and killed them on the spot. Police recovered the bodies Saturday from the roadside…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Singapore: Sheep for Ritual: Be Prepared for Alternative Arrangements, Says PM

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore should prepare for the possibility that Australia may, like New Zealand, ban live animal exports completely, as Australian animal welfare groups are pressing strongly for this. Writing on his Facebook page yesterday, he said both he and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim were initially worried that the Korban ritual in Singapore might be affected by Australia’s stringent new regulations on live sheep exports. Fortunately, 16 mosques passed the Australian audits and were able to import 2,500 sheep, which arrived on Thursday morning and were sent to the mosques for yesterday’s Hari Raya Haji ritual…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader

The mother of China’s prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China. His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao’s political campaigns. And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.

But now 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind, she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister.

Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.

In many cases, the names of the relatives have been hidden behind layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business partners. Untangling their financial holdings provides an unusually detailed look at how politically connected people have profited from being at the intersection of government and business as state influence and private wealth converge in China’s fast-growing economy.

Unlike most new businesses in China, the family’s ventures sometimes received financial backing from state-owned companies, including China Mobile, one of the country’s biggest phone operators, the documents show. At other times, the ventures won support from some of Asia’s richest tycoons. The Times found that Mr. Wen’s relatives accumulated shares in banks, jewelers, tourist resorts, telecommunications companies and infrastructure projects, sometimes by using offshore entities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Chinese Christian Was Tortured for Helping Other Believers

Shi Weihan dangled from a wall inside a Chinese prison, handcuffed to a hook. His interrogators doused him with frigid water and tormented him with electric shocks.

They pried for information: How many Christian books did he give out? What are the names and phone numbers of the pastors he gave them to?

“During that time, the outside world did not know what was happening to me.”

Weihan would not remain anonymous for long. His imprisonment under the Chinese government’s religious crackdown — reported extensively by Baptist Press — would carry him into national publications and be chronicled in detail by the religious freedom monitor ChinaAid.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Eid: Sydney’s Muslim Community Leaders Call for Tolerance

Sydney community leaders stressed Islam condemns violence, addressing crowds marking the holy day of Eid Al-Adha — as a report shows many Australians hold negative views towards Muslims.

As a report showed that a quarter of Australians hold negative views towards Muslims, Sydney community leaders stressed Islam condemns violence, addressing crowds marking the holy day of Eid Al-Adha. SBS’s Suheil Damouny reports from Punchbowl Park in Sydney’s south-west where over 1,000 Muslims enjoyed a morning of reflection and festivities.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Video: Sydney Commuters Join Forces to Attack Abusive Passenger and Throw Her From the Train

A woman who was filmed swearing and abusing people on a train in Australia, got what she deserved when she was thrown off onto her backside by other passengers.

The triumphant moment when her fellow commuters gang up on her and physically move her off the train was caught on camera and has become a hit on YouTube.

The video shows the young blonde spitting, swearing and hitting Sydney commuters until they finally snap and kick her off the train.

Scroll down for video

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana: Muslims Urged to Accept Outcome of the Elections

Sheik Tahir Saeed, Deputy Upper East Regional Chief Iman, has enjoined Ghanaians to accept the results of the forthcoming elections and the winner as one ordained by God to lead the country. Sheik Tahir said this when he addressed this year’s Eidh ul Adha celebration in Bolgatanga on Friday where hundreds of Muslims converged to pray to God for the mercies endowed them over the year. He said as the campaigns of the elections peaked up, Ghanaians should be guided by their utterances and not conduct themselves in ways that would compromise the peace the country had enjoyed over the years. He prayed for peaceful elections and asked God for a choice of a President who would steer the affairs of the country.

Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, asked Muslims to stand by the virtues of peaceful coexistence and love for one another as the Holy Quran has instructed. He said it was not enough for Muslims to gather and celebrate Eid but should remember that the Holy Quran was revealed as guide to humanity and applied in all human life and every relationship between human beings. He said the guidance provided by the Holy Quran also prescribed appropriate rules and limits that governed the relationship between parents and children, man and woman, employee and employer and all spheres of life. He asked Muslims, therefore, to avoid activities that would foment troubles in their communities and be proud of the religion they belonged which had always proclaimed complete equality among all races. “I will therefore appeal to all our gentlemen and ladies to stand for peace before, during and after elections and not to allow yourselves to be used to cause trouble in our respectful places and beyond” the Regional Minister added. He also assured Ghanaians of government’s commitment towards ensuring peaceful and transparent elections.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mujahideen Flock to Mali

Nouakchott — From Mali to Morocco, the capacity of Islamist governance is being put to the test.

As Mali braces for military intervention, growing popular discontent over Islamist governance is expanding well beyond the embattled country’s borders. Foreign fighters have begun arriving in Mali, but these are not the long-awaited African military forces come to liberate the country from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the MUJAO and Ansar al-Din. “Hundreds of jihadists, mostly Sudanese and Sahrawis, have arrived as reinforcements to face an offensive by Malian forces and their allies,” AFP quoted a Malian security source as saying on Tuesday (October 22nd). “They are armed and explained that they had come to help their Muslim brothers against the infidels,” a Timbuktu resident said.

Sanad Ould Bouamama, official spokesperson for Ansar al-Din, says, “The arrival of hundreds of young mujahideen from different areas across the Islamic world to support us in our war against the infidels and crusaders is not strange or surprising. The same thing happened in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Somalia and Iraq,” the Ansar al-Din official tells Magharebia. Ould Bouamama adds, “The war that the world is planning to wage against us is a war against Islam and all that is related to Islam. Its goal is to combat God’s Sharia, and therefore, all mujahideen have to stand by our side.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Republic of Congo to Borrow Over 1.1 Bln USD From China

BRAZZAVILLE, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — The Republic of Congo will borrow over 1.1 billion U.S. dollars from China to support her 2013 state budget, the country’s Finance Minister Gilbert Ondongo said in a statement published on Friday by a weekly publication, La Semaine Africaine (The African Week)…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Risks of Boko Haram Attacks in Nigeria

Boko Haram is likely to escalate attacks during Eid.

Nigeria: severe risk of IED and shooting attacks against Muslims and entertainment spots in the north and Middle Belt

On October 23, Nigeria’s police chief announced the deployment of extra officers across the country, following warning of a attacks by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram during Eid celebrations beginning on October 26. The risk of attacks by Boko Haram is severe around the festive period when large numbers of people visit entertainment spots. The group is likely to target prayer grounds where there are religious leaders who are perceived to support the government against Boko Haram.

Attacks are more likely in prayer grounds or mosques in Maiduguri, the group’s stronghold, and entertainment spots in towns including Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. The risk of attacks in major cities in the south including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu is extremely low. Attacks are likely to be in the form of drive-by shootings against small groups or IED (improvised explosive device) attacks against large public gathering, raising risks of death and injury to bystanders and worshippers.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Police Hunt for Alleged Bogus Asylum Seeker Accused of Conning His Way Into Job With… The Serious Organised Crime Agency

Elidon Habilaj, 35, is alleged to have conned his way in to the country’s top police agency in London, dubbed as Britain’s answer to the FBI.

[Return to headlines]

Sardine Can Britain: What Life Will be Like in 2050 When Experts Predict the Population Will Have Exploded to 80million

The population of Britain will rocket to nearly 80?million by 2050 — an increase of a third — according to an authoritative new projection by the Population Reference Bureau. It’s a chilling prospect and has sparked renewed debate about mass immigration.

Last week, the Economist magazine called the Tories’ attempts to limit immigration their ‘barmiest policy’, and complained Britain ‘has, in effect, installed a “keep out” sign over the white cliffs of Dover’. But is it wrong to want tighter controls over our borders? Here, a leading historian imagines what life could be like 38 years from now?.?.?.

Dawn is breaking over London. As the pale sunlight filters weakly through the smog, the streets are already teeming with grey-suited commuters, trudging in line towards the city’s call centres.

Overhead, the air is thick with the roar of engines, as the endless succession of early-morning flights from Brussels, capital of the United States of Europe, head into Heathrow. Outside the city’s surgeries and hospitals, the queues are already forming, legions of parents waiting anxiously with their pale children, hoping against hope they can get one of the day’s few emergency appointments.

Many have already been awake for hours, having risen while it was still dark to beat the traffic.

It is barely six o’clock, yet already the streets are at a standstill. The lines of cars waiting to use the roadside electric charging points stretch for miles.

But no one seems angry or impatient: merely weary, depressed and downtrodden. After all, this is Britain in 2050, a nation of almost 80?million people, most of them packed into the south-eastern corner of Europe’s most densely populated state.

More from Dominic Sandbrook…

Stopping first-class post would prove we’ve become a second-class nation 18/10/12 .

Red Ed’s One Nation hero was a vacuous, egotistical hypocrite who sent British soldiers to die needlessly in foreign wars. (Remind you of anyone?) 05/10/12 .

Hubris and a man who thinks he can only be judged by God 28/09/12 .

Most PMs are mice, not men. It’s too soon to write Cameron off, but Britain needs to hear him roar 31/08/12 .

How glorious, after years of our national identity being denigrated, to see patriotism rekindled 10/08/12 .

The Batman massacre was the work of a deranged mind. But DOMINIC SANDBROOK argues that the film and a new play in London both warn how the West may be reverting to the dark days of the Thirties 20/07/12 .

Just like the unions 30 years ago, the bankers think they’re above the law. So where’s the politician who will break them? 06/07/12 .

We’ve never been so obsessed with sport, but there’s so much of it on TV that we’ve become a nation of couch potato champions 25/06/12 .

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE .At a time when Britain feels so crowded, many people are amazed to be reminded that as recently as the early 2010s, the population was barely 63?million. In those simple, innocent days, when people still carried mobile telephones and watched television in just two dimensions, we were not yet the most populous country in Europe. Back then, we still lagged behind the Germans.

At the time, some commentators warned that with migrants pushing up the birth rate to one of the highest in Europe, Britain’s population was bound to soar, putting the health, education and transport systems under intolerable pressure.

But no one listened. Indeed, as history teachers tell their astonished pupils today, when the Commons debated the issue in the early autumn of 2012, just 30 MPs bothered to turn up.

So the population continued to swell, especially in the affluent South-East. Every year urban Britain felt a little more cramped, a little more crowded. And today we are living with the consequences.

To fly over our landscape in the autumn of 2050 — if you are one of the lucky minority who can afford the massive fuel duty — is to be reminded how much things have changed.

In great swathes of southern and central England, our green and pleasant land has long since disappeared. A sea of grey spreads out from London all the way to Britain’s Second City, Milton Keynes.

With increasingly strident demands for more housing, the last green-belt restrictions were removed in the early 2030s. Ever since, developers have been enjoying a bonanza, from the vast estates sprawling across the Chiltern hillsides to the luxury retirement communities in the South Downs and the Lake District.

Looking down from your aeroplane window, you can see the jagged lines of Britain’s private motorways carving across the countryside.

Although tolls are the highest in Europe, with drivers charged £100 for the journey from London to Manchester, many have no choice.

Public transport may have been an option in 2012, when most commuters were guaranteed at least a standing space. But getting a rush-hour train these days is like a journey into hell.

With demand at an all-time peak, fares are higher than ever. Commuters pay £500 for a day return from Brighton into London. And with operators putting on more trains to meet the demand, long delays outside major city stations are common.

Few travellers will forget the Didcot disaster in 2047, when signal failures saw two trains collide with terrible consequences. Even the high-speed trains between London and Birmingham are crammed to bursting, the HS2 service having opened in 2036, a mere ten years behind schedule. There is still talk about extending the line to Manchester or Leeds; alas, the money is not there. Other public services are at breaking point.

The NHS has been struggling to cope with demand for three decades — not least because of the increasingly elderly population. There are now almost five million people over 85, many of them needing round-the-clock medical care.

So many people reach the age of 100 that Charles IV — who succeeded his father, William, two years ago — no longer sends out congratulatory messages. You have to be 110 to get a card these days.

And even though the retirement age is now 72, we are borrowing billions to pay for all the pensions. That explains why the doors remain open for immigrants: these days, Britain is simply desperate for their tax money.

Waiting times for non-urgent NHS appointments began rising in the 2020s. These days, you are lucky if a doctor sees you within a month.

There is a cruel irony in the fact that, 40 years ago, rival politicians competed for the One Nation banner. For in health as in so many other areas, Britain now feels like two nations, not one. The super-rich go private; the rest of us wait in line. Such is life in Britain in 2050.

Schools are another example, with many inner-city academies so crowded that headteachers have been allowed to lift the cap on class sizes. In Birmingham and Manchester, classes of more than 50 have become the norm for mainstream subjects such as Mandarin, Atheism and Diversity Studies.

Walk past any school and you will see Portakabin classrooms stacked on top of one another in what was once the playground.

And as for school sport, forget it. The last playing fields were sold off to housing developers in the late 2030s. Little wonder Team GB won just five medals at the Guangzhou Olympics, while England’s footballers have not qualified for the World Cup finals since crashing out in Delhi 12 years ago.

Even going to a football match is now impossible for most people. There are more than 150,000 on the waiting list for season tickets at the Premiership champions, Wolverhampton Wanderers, whose largely African and South American players each earn £2?million a week.

The great irony is that 40 years ago, many people claimed an expanding population would boost employment and economic growth. But with so many jobs moving overseas, those claims have proved a hollow fantasy.

British unemployment hit the six million mark during the worldwide recession of 2042 — which followed the American civil war between the Federalist forces of the East Coast states under President Malia Obama, and the breakaway New Confederacy of the South and West, over the issue of taxes and water rights — and since then it has never fallen below it.

With so many people claiming the dole, benefits now account for more than 15 per cent of GDP. To think the people thought it excessive at seven per cent in 2012. Little wonder wealthy superpowers such as Malaysia, Brazil and the Indian Empire often mock the British as the ‘workshy of the world’.

As a result, successive coalition governments have been forced to raise more revenue through taxes.

The last Green-Labour government, which left office in 2046, raised the top rate of income tax to a whopping 85 per cent, insisting the rich needed to pay more for the pensions of the rest.

Tax avoidance is widespread. Yet it is only part of a wider story of rising crime in an increasingly crowded, fragmented, fractious and alienated society.

In the biggest English cities, such as London, Milton Keynes and Telford, ethnic hatred and gang violence have become endemic.

No wonder the prisons are bursting at the seams. In 2012 our prison population was less than 100,000 — a figure that seems almost incredible today. By 2025, however, it was already 150,000, and last year it reached 261,000.

The Tories first talked about using prison ships in 2010, although for a decade nothing was done. In fact, it was Chuka Umunna’s Labour government that first introduced floating prisons in the 2020s, and today the private security firm G4S operate more than two dozen, most of them in the Channel.

Conditions on the hulks are appalling and many ships have been infiltrated by the rabidly xenophobic Legion of St George, which first gained ground in the 2030s as part of the backlash against rising immigration.

To most decent people, the spectacle of the Legion marching openly through the streets, proudly proclaiming unashamed anti-immigrant prejudice, is almost as disturbing as its insidious online advertising, which kicks in almost as soon as you put on your internet glasses, which provide you with a mini-computer screen in front of your eyes.

Its involvement in last year’s Banbury riots, when five people were killed in clashes between the Legion, the police and anti-racist demonstrators, has probably tainted the organisation beyond repair.

Britain’s spiritual leaders, whether speaking for the Muslim majority or the dwindling Christian remnant, rarely miss a chance to condemn it. Only last week, the nation’s most popular and respected religious figure, the National Imam, denounced the Legion as ‘the unacceptable face of patriotism’.

But even though the group’s political appeal remains severely limited — with just nine per cent of the vote at the last election, it is a long way behind the Tories, the Greens and Labour, and only just ahead of the Lib Dems — it draws on genuine and widespread resentments.

Polls show massive public bitterness at the long queues for housing and hospitals, as well as growing fury at surging food prices, power cuts and water shortages.

In parts of southern England, even walking to the shops has become a battle against seething crowds. The days when you could simply walk into a supermarket without a timed ticket now seem a distant memory.

Barring some calamity — which no one in their right mind would want — Britain’s population seems likely to carry on rising. As scientists eliminate the few remaining incurable cancers, it could be over 100?million by the end of this century.

Back in 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that one day the population surge would have terrible consequences — epidemics, pestilence, plague and famine.

I cannot be the only person to lie awake at night with the terrible thought nagging away at me. What if he was right?

           — Hat tip: Steen


[Return to headlines]

Texas Police Fire at Vehicle Carrying Illegal Immigrants, Kill 2

HOUSTON, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) — A police helicopter opened fire at a vehicle crammed with suspected illegal immigrants in Texas Thursday, killing 2 people and injuring another. The incident took place near the Mexican border, about 112 km northwest of the southernmost Texas city of Brownsville, ABC News reported. Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), said a DPS aircraft was called in to help after a state game warden tried and failed to stop the vehicle Thursday afternoon. A sharpshooter aboard the helicopter opened fire on the vehicle, killing two in the vehicle. Another one was injured and six others were arrested, she said. Calling the shooting “an enforcement action,” Cesinger said an investigation was underway.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Just 62 Out of 11,000 Foreign Prisoners Have Been Kicked Out Despite Cameron’s Pledge of Crackdown

Just 62 foreign criminals have been sent home under the Tories despite David Cameron’s pledge to remove thousands from British jails.

The Prime Minister promised a crackdown two years ago after it emerged that more than 11,000 foreign inmates — one in eight prisoners — are clogging up our jails.

But official figures released this week show that fewer offenders are being deported than when Labour was in power.

Since January last year, only 62 have been sent home to serve the rest of their sentences — 25 to just one country, the Netherlands.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

France: Pill 100% Free for Girls Aged 15-18, Health Minister

free, anonymous, high-level contraception for all, Hollande

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, OCTOBER 23 — The French government wants to make sure the contraceptive pill is 100% free for girls aged 15-18, Health Minister Marisol Touraine told Les Echos financial daily on Tuesday.

“I am presenting an amendment on the government’s behalf, providing full state reimbursement of contraception for girls aged 15-18,” the minister said.

This follows on President Francois Hollande’s proposed 2013 budget, which parliament begins debating today, and which contains full state coverage for abortions, fulfilling his campaign promise to guarantee “free and anonymous access to medical care and high-level contraception” for all minors.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Three-Quarters of Teachers Fear Easy Access to Hardcore Porn Through Smartphones and the Web is ‘Damaging’ Pupils

Three-quarters of teachers believe easy access to hardcore pornography through mobile phones and the internet is ‘damaging’ their pupils.

Girls as young as 11 are dressing like ‘inflatable plastic dolls’ while young boys are developing ‘almost pathological’ attitudes to sex as a result, according to research.

Some boys even admit to being unable to get to sleep without first viewing pornography while others are obsessed with getting a perfect body shape.

The study reveals escalating concern about children’s exposure to sexual images. Teaching staff warn that children are developing warped views of relationships as they feel pressured to perform sex acts, use derogatory sexual language and even consider plastic surgery.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Brighton Council Plans to Remove Mr and Mrs Titles From All Documents to Protect City’s Transgender Community From Offence

A city is proposing to ban titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms in case they offend the transgender community.

Councillors in Brighton will vote on the proposal to remove the words from official forms and paperwork after complaints that they forced people to ‘choose between genders’.

The proposal is backed by Brighton and Hove City Council deputy leader Phelim MacCafferty, who has called the titles ‘useless’.

But the new proposal has been branded ‘political correctness gone too far’ by an opposition councillor who says the idea is ‘ludicrous’.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]