Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121030

Financial Crisis
»Italy: Monti Plays Down Plan to Create Super Commissioner
»Spain and Italy Oppose EU ‘Super Commissioner’ Idea
»80,000 Pounds of Walnuts Stolen
»At Least 17 Dead, Millions Without Power in Sandy’s Aftermath
»Chuck Norris: Barack Obama, Master of Spin
»Disney Buying ‘Star Wars’ Maker for $4 Billion
»Do You Believe in America?
»Exposing Black Liberation Theology
»NASA’s Huge New SLS Rocket Could Power Missions Far Beyond Mars
»NYU Terrorism Class Asks Students to Plot Terrorist Attack
»Sandy Shuts Down New York’s Power Grid and Subway
»The Press and the Race Card Gambit
»Thousands of Muslims Gather in Prayer at Angel Stadium
»Time to Out Sinister Valerie Jarrett
»Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada
»New Find Reveals Viking Presence in Canadian Arctic
Europe and the EU
»Al-Qaeda’s Strategy of a “Thousand Cuts”
»Berlusconi Risks Isolation After Threatening Monti Govt
»France: Muslims Treat Paris to Pastry Protest on Eid
»German Police: Sorry for Racial Profiling on ID Checks
»Germany: Poor Boar Injures Four in Berlin
»Greek Orthodox Bishop Hits Out at Turkish Soap Fans
»Italy: Last Year’s Election in Molise Region Rejected by Courts
»MP Says ‘Noisy Foreign Weddings’ Unwelcome in France
»President Napolitano Ratifies India-Italy Prisoner Accord
»Report: Traces of Explosives on Crashed Polish Presidential Plane
»Scotland: ‘We Want to Remain Within the EU’
»Sweden: SAS Shares Halted After Media Speculation
»UK: Public Trust in BBC Falls Below 50% After Savile
»Clinton Joins European Diplomats on Tour Urging Peace in Balkans
North Africa
»Islamism’s Unity
»Muslims Attack Coptic Christians in Egypt After Mass
Israel and the Palestinians
»Big Oil Underwrites Anti-Israel Conference
Middle East
»Emirates: No More Adolescent Brides
»German Turks ‘Send a Billion Euros to Turkey’
»Turkey: Tear Gas, Water Cannon Against Opposition March
South Asia
»Mystical Islam ‘A Threat to the Taliban’
Far East
»North Korea: ‘World’s Worst Airline’ Launches Online Booking
Australia — Pacific
»Bail Refused for Taxi Driver Accused of Raping Two Passengers in His Cab
»Gillard: Australia Must Embrace ‘Asian Century’
Sub-Saharan Africa
»8 Killed in Nigerian Church Bombing
»Cocaine-Dealing Dad Can Stay in UK
»Over 5 Mln Regularized Immigrants in Italy, +43 Thousand
»Smugglers Charge Iraqi Refugees Up to $16,000 to Enter Italy
Culture Wars
»Forget Abortion! NPR Promotes the ‘Rights’ And ‘Souls’ of Plants
»MSNBC Now Actively Telling Viewers How to Vote on Gay Marriage
»Three Dirty Words: Tolerance, Diversity, And Welcoming

Financial Crisis

Italy: Monti Plays Down Plan to Create Super Commissioner

New official with veto powers over national budgets a ‘myth’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — Premier Mario Monti on Monday played down reports of a European plan to create a new “super commissioner” with veto powers over national budgets, calling it something of a “myth”.

The European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs already has powers greater than the competition commissioner, said Monti, citing an observation made by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi again came out in favour of the new oversight official on Sunday.

Monti made his comments at a press conference in Madrid after a bilateral summit with Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain and Italy Oppose EU ‘Super Commissioner’ Idea

Spain and Italy voiced their opposition on Monday towards Germany’s proposal to empower an EU commissioner to police national budgets and impose fines on those with large deficits, reports the Guardian. “This is an idea, that considered on its own, I personally don’t like,” said Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


80,000 Pounds of Walnuts Stolen

Walnuts valued at $300,000

Authorities are investigating the theft of more than 80,000 pounds of walnuts from Northern California valued at about $300,000. The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a freight brokerage firm on Friday reporting that a truckload of walnuts never arrived in Miami as they were supposed to.

Authorities believe the culprit is the same person who also picked up another load of walnuts days earlier from Los Molinos. Those walnuts were intended for Texas, but also disappeared.

Deputies tell the Record Searchlight of Redding ( the man who picked those walnuts up was not the person hired for the job. They have not identified the suspect although they do have a suspect description.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

At Least 17 Dead, Millions Without Power in Sandy’s Aftermath

As Superstorm Sandy churned slowly inland, millions along the U.S. East Coast awoke Tuesday without power or mass transit, and huge swaths of New York City were unusually dark and abandoned. At least 17 people were killed in seven states.

The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with 80 mph sustained winds cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio and put the presidential campaign on hold one week before Election Day.

New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart closed for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center. The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of New York’s extensive subway system, according to Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“This will be one for the record books,” said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.

Trading at the New York Stock Exchange was canceled again Tuesday — the first time the exchange suspended operations for two consecutive days due to weather since a blizzard in 1888.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York and Long Island, making federal funding available to residents of the area. The damage is “almost incalculable,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said as he spoke with TV networks Tuesday morning.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Chuck Norris: Barack Obama, Master of Spin

Obama can spin a fact, and even though it’s wrong or untrue, we almost believe it. Then he sends his minions out to spin the same fact, hoping that if we hear it enough times, we finally will believe it. The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is a prime example. Even though Obama knew — from the moment of the assault — that it was a terrorist attack, he didn’t let the American people know. We recently learned a drone was recording the attack in real time, and our president was watching from the Situation Room. It is clear that he chose to deceive the American people deliberately, saying it was a mob protest and blaming it on a video that nobody had seen.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Disney Buying ‘Star Wars’ Maker for $4 Billion

(FOXNEWS) — Disney is paying $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind “Star Wars,” from its chairman and founder, George Lucas. It’s also making a seventh movie in the “Star Wars” series called “Episode 7,” set for release in 2015, with plans to follow it with Episodes 8 and 9 and then one new movie every two or three years.

The Walt Disney Co. announced the blockbuster agreement to make the purchase in cash and stock Tuesday. The deal includes Lucasfilm’s prized high-tech production companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, as well as rights to the “Indiana Jones” franchise.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement that the acquisition is a great fit and will help preserve and grow the “Star Wars” franchise.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Do You Believe in America?

Ask the average U.S. citizen if he or she believes in America and they’ll almost always answer “yes.” The proper follow-up question is which America do they believe in because there are two different Americas that our Presidential candidates want us to believe.

Barack Obama has a campaign slogan that proclaims “Betting on America” and Mitt Romney has one that declares “Believe in America.”

They can’t be campaigning for the same America because each one has an entirely different political philosophy and direction for our Nation’s future.

Barack Obama wants us to believe in his unilateral plan to “Fundamentally transform America” and Mitt Romney wants us to believe in his bilateral plan to “Restore the promise of America.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Exposing Black Liberation Theology

There are many who contribute to black liberation theology, but the person who is the most influential is James Cone. Also, Dr. Jeremiah Wright is a well publicized proponent.

James Cone has written many books on liberation theology. He grew up in Bearden, Arkansas where extreme discrimination existed. His bad experiences became the cornerstone of his false beliefs.

Cone believes like Karl Barth, that the Bible is fallible and not the Word of God. As a result, he promotes black liberation theology without relying on the Bible.

He believes black theology is directly linked to black power. As a result, he believes blacks need liberated from white oppression. Also, blacks need deliverance from the oppressors like Israel’s deliverance from the corrupt Egyptians.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

NASA’s Huge New SLS Rocket Could Power Missions Far Beyond Mars

NASA is contemplating space journeys far beyond a near-Earth asteroid, the moon or Mars for its new heavy-lift rocket in development. The Space Launch System (SLS), as it is called, could instead visit the moon of Pluto or return samples from other outer planets.

An unmanned flyby mission to Pluto’s Charon, sample return missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s Titan, or a sample-gathering flight through Jupiter’s atmosphere or the ice water jets of Saturn’s Enceladus — all are said to be possible with the 286,000-pound (130,000 kilograms) launch capabilities of the Space Launch System.

The first launch of SLS is planned for 2017, but it will not have an upper stage and will be able to put only 154,000 pounds (70,000 kg) into low-Earth orbit. Beginning in 2022, however, the rocket is expected to have more powerful boosters and an upper stage to give it an ability to deliver 286,000 pounds to Earth orbit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

NYU Terrorism Class Asks Students to Plot Terrorist Attack

It’s Terrorism 101.

A New York University class on transnational terrorism is requiring students to “hypothetically plan a terrorist attack” — and shocked cops say the outrageous lesson plan is an insult to the officers killed on Sept. 11.

The controversial course, taught by former Navy criminal investigator Marie-Helen Maras, asks the pupils to “step into [a terrorist’s] shoes” and write a 10- to 15-page paper on their battle plan.

“Some of the most notorious terrorists, including Anwar al-Awlaki, got their start on American campuses. It looks like after the CIA killed al-Awlaki, NYU is helping to produce successors,” said an outraged law-enforcement expert on terrorism.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sandy Shuts Down New York’s Power Grid and Subway

As of Tuesday morning, about 600,000 people on Long Island, New York, are without power. The winds from hurricane Sandy peaked at 145 kph (90 mph), knocking down trees, which knocked down utility poles and power lines.

But that’s not the main problem. Short-circuiting and overheating caused transformers to explode all over Long Island.

Dick Knadle is an electrical engineering consultant in Dix Hills in central Long Island. “As I was walking around last night,” he says, “I could see flashes on the horizon every 60 seconds from the transformers exploding all over Long Island.”

On Rockaway Peninsula on the shore of Queens, one such explosion started a fire that burned down more than 80 terrace homes. Thankfully, residents had been evacuated.

Knadle estimates that repairing damage to the electrical infrastructure will take weeks. “The damage to power distribution systems just in my community is vast,” he says.

In addition, he says that cellphone base stations in some neighbourhoods will soon be down. Some cellular towers are equipped with backup generators, but others might have a backup battery that will only last for around six hours.

Then there is the New York City subway. Its pumping system is designed to remove the 50,000 cubic metres of seawater that threaten to enter the tunnels daily because they are situated below sea level. Continuous pumping keeps the tunnels from flooding, but the hurricane’s extra dose of water will damage this system. Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) chairman Joseph Lhota calls it the worst disaster in the subway’s 108-year history.

The flooding itself is unlikely to cause structural problems, says Nick Buenfeld, a civil engineer at Imperial College London, as tunnels are designed to withstand the weight of the ground above. “If you fill the tunnel with water you are pressing back against the external pressure,” he says. “You could argue structurally it is in a better state when it is full of water than when it is empty.”

More problematic will be the effect on the electrical systems within the tunnels. “The salt water damages pumping equipment,” says Knadle. “The damage will be compounded by the fact that there is no power to operate the pumping equipment right now.”

Even with extra pumps, the MTA says it will take up to four days to empty the flooded tunnels. After that, engineers will have to enter the tunnels and repair damaged electrical signals.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Press and the Race Card Gambit

Subjugation and manipulation of black Americans has been the left’s single most successful endeavor.

Early in the election cycle, I indicated my belief that the Obama campaign itself would likely leave the race-baiting to its surrogates, rather than directly engaging in same. Bearing in mind that there’s still time left to prove me wrong, my supposition has pretty much held up thus far. The relish with which said surrogates have flung the race card about has not only surpassed the 2008 election cycle, but has included some of the most craven, despicable — and now desperate — race-based rhetoric I’ve heard in decades.

The National Urban League has commenced airing a series of advertisements disguised as PSAs “as part of its broad, civic engagement campaign to ‘Occupy the Vote’ and repeal unnecessary barriers to voting.” Featuring black celebrities such as Angela Bassett, Eric Benet, and Kim Coles, one of the television spots makes furtive allusions to shadowy figures conspiring to deny blacks the right to vote. This is a reference to recent efforts to combat voter fraud, which have been met with charges of racially-based voter suppression by the Democrat Party, for reasons that should be obvious by now. The ad closes with none other than notorious poverty pimp Rev. Al Sharpton admonishing viewers to vote. “Black” people are never mentioned, of course, but the message is quite evident, as is who they should be voting for.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Thousands of Muslims Gather in Prayer at Angel Stadium

As the sun burned in the soft blue sky, thousands of Muslims poured into Angel Stadium early Friday and filled the morning with the sounds of prayer as they celebrated Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar.

“Eid Mubarak,” men and women said in greeting, wishing blessings for the day. Youngsters skipped school, elders from across Southern California glowed with the spirit of the season — in culmination of the annual pilgrimage, called Hajj, a tribute to Prophet Abraham’s life and legacy.

More than 20,000 Muslims gathered at the baseball stadium in a historic event organized by leaders of three mosques — the Islamic Center of Irvine, the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim and the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove. The three mosques are members of the Islamic Shura Council.

“It brings a different flavor when you’re outdoors in the cool breeze and bright sunshine,” said Shakeel Syed, who heads the Islamic Shura Council.

“In past years,” he said, “people went to individual mosques, but this year — luckily or unluckily — the Angels are not in the playoffs, so the stadium was available.”

Rather than sit in the stands or the bleachers, worshippers walked on the stadium grass, fanning across the baseball diamond.

“The excitement of being in a place that’s generally not accessible to most of us is amazing,” Syed added. “Here, you’re able to see the entire crowd, unlike at a mosque. It lifts up the spirit.”

The words “Eid Ul-Adha” glowed in neon under the Toyota and Metro PCS logos on the Jumbotron screen. It rotated with other Arabic terms, ads touting Quran and Saturday school, and a flashing “Vote on 11/6.” Melodic chants rang in the air.

“I felt a sense of unity. I couldn’t believe there was that many people,” said Tarek Soubra, a junior at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove. He missed calculus class, along with Spanish 3 to attend the service, which included a 15-minute sermon.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Time to Out Sinister Valerie Jarrett

The deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, demand the outing of President Barack Obama’s Iranian-born, chief advisor Valerie Jarrett.

Three times Stevens and his staff were denied help to save their lives on the day of their death.

While the courageous serving America were denied help, private citizen Valerie Jarrett seems to have a 24-hour, around-the-clock security detail, with five or six Secret Service agents at her disposal at home and abroad. (former Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell, Breitbart News interview. )

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada

Sharpeners may be smoking guns in quest for New World’s second Viking site.

For the past 50 years-since the discovery of a thousand-year-old Viking way station in Newfoundland-archaeologists and amateur historians have combed North America’s east coast searching for traces of Viking visitors.

It has been a long, fruitless quest, littered with bizarre claims and embarrassing failures. But at a conference in Canada earlier this month, archaeologist Patricia Sutherland announced new evidence that points strongly to the discovery of the second Viking outpost ever discovered in the Americas.

While digging in the ruins of a centuries-old building on Baffin Island, far above the Arctic Circle, a team led by Sutherland, adjunct professor of archaeology at Memorial University in Newfoundland and a research fellow at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found some very intriguing whetstones. Wear grooves in the blade-sharpening tools bear traces of copper alloys such as bronze-materials known to have been made by Viking metalsmiths but unknown among the Arctic’s native inhabitants.

Taken together with her earlier discoveries, Sutherland’s new findings further strengthen the case for a Viking camp on Baffin Island. “While her evidence was compelling before, I find it convincing now,” said James Tuck, professor emeritus of archaeology, also at Memorial University.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

New Find Reveals Viking Presence in Canadian Arctic

A Canadian archeologist searching for traces of Viking encampments along the country’s northeastern Arctic coast has found tantalizing new evidence to bolster the case that Norse seafarers from Greenland — hundreds of years after their ancestors abandoned the famous L’Anse aux Meadows settlement in Newfoundland around 1,000 A.D. — were trading goods and even inhabiting sites on Baffin Island and in other areas occupied by the Dorset people, an artistically advanced culture that would mysteriously vanish by 1,400 A.D.

Using a high-resolution, chemical-detection technique called spectroscopy on tool-sharpening stones unearthed at several 700-yearold Arctic sites, researchers led by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Patricia Sutherland have found microscopic bits of brass, bronze and smelted iron — metals known only from European sources during the medieval era.

The findings are profiled this week in a National Geographic feature that hits newsstands on Thursday.

About 20 whetstones that might have been used to sharpen knives, swords and other metal tools and implements have been recovered from four Arctic sites known to have been occupied in ancient times: Avayalik Island in northernmost Labrador, and three sites on Baffin Is-land — Tanfield Valley and Willows Island in the southeast near Iqaluit, and one on the island’s northwest tip.

Painstaking, high-resolution scans of the wear grooves in the whetstones yielded the telltale metal traces linking the sites where they were found to the Norse, Sutherland told Postmedia News.

“We were particularly interested in metals that the Norse would have been using. And we do have that evidence now,” she said, adding that the discovery means Norse travellers were either present at the sites themselves or that aboriginal peoples in the area traded with the Norse to acquire the sharpening stones.

“Neither the Dorset nor ancient Inuit smelted iron,” she noted.

Sutherland believes the Norse encountered and probably traded with the Dorset, ancient aboriginals who were later overrun — sometime before 1,400 A.D. — by the eastward-migrating Thule ancestors of modern Inuit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Al-Qaeda’s Strategy of a “Thousand Cuts”

by Soeren Kern

Spanish police have arrested six members of an al-Qaeda cell in Barcelona that was dedicated to providing a related terrorist cell in Germany with large numbers of stolen passports.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said the police action, dubbed Operation Comet, was carried out on October 13 in Barcelona and the nearby town of Vilanova del Camí, and entailed police raids on at least four homes of Muslim immigrants involved in the network. Police found large numbers of stolen passports and identity papers issued in many different countries.

Those arrested were from Algeria, Belgium and Morocco, and all were carrying stolen passports that included their own photos attached to the personal data of dozens of individuals from several different countries.

One of those arrested was intercepted at the main airport in Barcelona as he was about to board a flight to Greece; he had more than 100 stolen passports in his possession.

Some of Barcelona’s tourist areas, especially those in the downtown areas, are known for having gangs of North African pickpockets who prey on foreigners. On any given day, tourists can be seen standing in lines in front of local police stations waiting to file police reports about stolen passports and other personal possessions. Spanish police believe many of the passports stolen in Spain end up in the hands of al-Qaeda operatives in Europe, among other places.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Berlusconi Risks Isolation After Threatening Monti Govt

Ex-premier sparks turmoil following fraud conviction

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — Silvio Berlusconi risks becoming increasingly isolated politically after he threatened to bring down Premier Mario Monti’s emergency government at the weekend following a fraud conviction on Friday.

The ex-premier said the conviction had forced him to stay in front-line politics, after he suggested last week he was retiring, in order to push through justice reforms, although he stressed that he had not changed his mind about not running for a fourth term in elections next year.

Berlusconi said there was a “dictatorship of magistrates” after being given a four-year sentence for tax fraud on the trading of film rights by his Mediaset media empire and being banned from public office for five years.

He will not have to serve three years of the sentence if the ruling is upheld because of a 2006 amnesty law.

The 76-year-old media magnate also criticised Monti on Saturday, days after saying his unelected administration of non-political technocrats was doing a good job at tackling the economic crisis despite some mistakes.

His comments were blasted by the the centre-left Democratic Party and the centrist UDC, both of which support Monti’s administration in parliament, as Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party has done since the financial crisis forced the ex-premier to resign last year.

But tellingly, they were also given a cool reception from some parts of the PdL.

Fabrizio Cicchitto, House whip for the PdL, expressed concern that Italy’s borrowing costs would rise if there were moves to bring down the government because the ensuing political instability would hit investor confidence.

There is even speculation that the PdL could split if Berlusconi follows through on his threat and tries to bring down the government.

Several senior PdL figures, including party Secretary Angelino Alfano, Cicchitto and former foreign minister Franco Frattini, are said to be willing to break away and support the Monti government in parliament to stop it falling.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

France: Muslims Treat Paris to Pastry Protest on Eid

Muslim rights activists distributed chocolate croissants at a Paris mosque at the start of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, after a French MP’s controversial comment that thugs snatched children’s pastries during Ramadan.

In an amusing response to a conservative French politician’s incendiary comment that thugs snatched children’s pastries during the holy month of Ramadan, a French Muslim rights group distributed chocolate croissants outside the Paris Grande Mosque on Friday, the start of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

The chocolate croissants — called “Copé” after French politician Jean-Francois Copé — were made with the same ingredients as the classic “pain au chocolat”- but baked in the shape of a crescent, according to Muslim rights activists.

Earlier this month, Copé sparked a controversy when he claimed that Muslim thugs were enforcing the Ramadan fast in some neighbourhoods. “I can understand the exasperation of some of our compatriots when there are some neighbourhoods where a mother or father will come home from work in the evening to learn their son has had his pain au chocolat snatched out of his hand by thugs, telling him it is forbidden to eat during Ramadan,” said Copé at the time.

About 2,000 “Copés” were distributed Friday, according to Abderrahmane Dahmane, head of the Council of Democratic French Muslims, Paris-based Muslim rights group.

Speaking to FRANCE 24 outside the Grande Mosque, Dahmane — who was also a former aide to ex-President Nicolas Sarkozky — called the protest “a great anti-Copé success”. The chocolate croissant stunt, he claimed, was “an overall victory against the racism and stigmatisation (of Muslims).”

Copé, who is running to replace Sarkozy as head of the conservative UMP party, has been criticised for his increasingly inflammatory rhetoric concerning Islam. Following what was dubbed “pastry-gate” in the press, the French Council for the Muslim Faith filed a lawsuit against Copé for defamation, citing “severe damage” to the community.

Friday’s protest came amid signs of a hardening attitude towards Muslims in France, which is home to Europe’s largest Muslim community. An opinion poll published Thursday found six out of ten French people believe the influence of Islam in France is “too big” and 43 percent saw the religion as a “threat” to national identity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Police: Sorry for Racial Profiling on ID Checks

The German police have apologised for targeting a black German for spot ID checks on the basis of his skin colour — after a judge said it was illegal to do so, contradicting an earlier court ruling.

Tahir Della, from the Initiative of Black People in Germany (ISD) welcomed the ruling. “We have been fighting for years for public recognition of this practice. Police checks of this kind are no one-off. “They are the everyday experience of many black people and people of colour in Germany. They are put under suspicion and criminalised by this police practice. We hope that this verdict will serve as a basic political signal.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Poor Boar Injures Four in Berlin

A 120-kilo (265-pound) wild boar attacked and injured four people on Monday in Berlin, the German capital’s police force said. Examination of its body showed it had a broken leg.

The boar bit a 74-year-old man on the back and leg, knocked a 74-year-old woman to the ground and bit a 24-year-old woman on the legs before she took refuge in a parked car, police said in a statement. The three were taken to hospital.

The fourth person to be injured was a police officer who had been sent to the residential neighbourhood of Charlottenburg to investigate, after passers-by reported the presence of the boar, police said.

The animal attacked the officer and bit him in the leg before he used his police-issue gun to kill it.

Marc Franusch, spokesman for the Berlin Foresters, told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper the boar had a broken front leg, probably sustained when hit by a car.

“It could have been scared by dogs or people out of its resting place under a hedge, and was carrying a painful injury,” said Franusch. He said it was possible that the frightened animal had panicked and reacted aggressively.

There are thought to be around 4,000 wild boars in the capital, mostly living in the woods and similar areas. Such attacks are extremely rare.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greek Orthodox Bishop Hits Out at Turkish Soap Fans

Greeks are glued to the series

A Greek orthodox Bishop has unleashed thunderous criticism on Greek fans of Turkish TV soap operas, according to local reports.

“Nobody must watch Muhtesem Yilzil (a Turkish soap opera called ‘The Magnificent Century’),” he said. “Watching Turkish soaps is tantamount to telling them we’ve surrendered”. Greeks, like viewers in the Balkans and Middle East where the series have long been broadcast, have found the allure of Turkish soap operas difficult to resist. In Athens viewers are glued to tearjerkers like “Suleiman the Magnificent” and “Sila”.

But Bishop Anthimos is not alone. Greece’s showbiz community are fed up of Turkish soaps too. “Sila in the morning. Sila in the afternoon. Sila 24 hours a day. We can’t take anymore,” complained TV actress Nikoleta Karra.

But Sila’s premise, which hinges on the romantic escapades of a ‘modern girl’, is the perfect escapism for austerity hit Greeks, many of whom are reluctant to give up their soap addiction. Social networking sites are abuzz with chatter about “Greeks addicted to Turkish soaps” and “Turk serials on Greek telly.” Turkish producers of the soap are loathe to renounce the newfound Greek trend, particularly within the political context of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic nationalist government. Hot on the heels of the Turkish-Greek co-production ‘Yabanci Damat’ (The Foreign Groom) which charts the highs and lows of a Turkish-Greek love story, comes The Last Balkan Summer. Set in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro the action takes place during the Ottoman wars. Another, ‘The Marvelous Journey’ is a cultural-gastronomic adventure between the two Aegean coasts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Last Year’s Election in Molise Region Rejected by Courts

Elections in southern region must be held again

(ANSA) — Campobasso, October 29 — Results from the 2011 elections in Italy’s southern region of Molise have been cancelled and new elections ordered, authorities announced Monday.

The Council of State, Italy’s highest administrative court, upheld a ruling earlier this year by Molise’s Regional Administrative Court (TAR).

It had invalidated the region’s centre-right government’s win in October 2011.

Defeated centre-left candidate Paolo Frattura alleged irregularities in that vote count.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

MP Says ‘Noisy Foreign Weddings’ Unwelcome in France

A French MP criticised “noisy foreign weddings” on Monday, slamming outdoor “Turkish and north African” celebrations as a danger to traffic. Philippe Meunier advised those “who don’t understand that, to return to the country of their ancestors”.

An opposition MP from France’s UMP party said Monday that “noisy” weddings held by “Turkish and North African communities” were unwelcome in France, claiming they hinder traffic circulation.

“Here, we are in France!” MP for Rhône, Philippe Meunier, said in a statement released on Monday. “If these people don’t understand that, I advise them to return to the country of their ancestors to live according to their traditions that aren’t ours,” he added.

Meunier said an increasing number of wedding celebrations caused traffic problems on major roads in Rhône — a region in the southeast of France which borders Italy. “It is very dangerous for motorists and motorcyclists,” he said.

Meunier said he had been alerted to the reportedly disruptive celebrations by the police and local residents.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

President Napolitano Ratifies India-Italy Prisoner Accord

May soon pertain to anti-pirate marines in fishermen deaths

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — The agreement between Italian and Indian governments on the transfer of convicted persons was ratified by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the website of the president’s office announced on Monday.

The agreement, which permits convicts of each country to serve their sentences in their countries of origin, was reached in Rome on August 10.

The agreement may affect two Italian anti-pirate marines facing trial in India for the alleged killing two fishermen last February off the coast of India.

The two men, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, are awaiting trial by an Indian court.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Report: Traces of Explosives on Crashed Polish Presidential Plane

Polish daily Rzeczpospolita Tuesday reported that Polish investigators have found traces of explosives on the government airplane that crashed 2010 in Russia, killing Poland’s president and 95 others. The investigators found no third party evidence and haven’t ruled out that the traces could have come from unexploded bombs from WWII.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Scotland: ‘We Want to Remain Within the EU’

The people of Scotland go to the polls in 2014 to decide whether the country should remain part of the United Kingdom. But if Scotland were to become independent, what role would they play in Europe?

DW: What are the chances that an independent Scotland would still be a member of the European Union?

Alyn Smith: This has never been done before. But the EU is a pragmatic organization. And the people who deal with enlargement in the European Commission have dealt with the fall of the Berlin Wall; they’ve dealt with the collapse of communism, the collapse of Yugoslavia; they’ve dealt with bigger stuff than Scotland making a democratic decision. We are part of the EU right now, we are represented in the European Parliament, we are all European citizens, and we want to remain within the EU.

Would Scotland go the whole way and join the eurozone?

That’s an aspiration. The policy of the National Party is that we do see Scotland’s future in the euro at some point. That needs to be done at the right time, at the right exchange rate, and the people of Scotland would need to say ‘yes’ in the referendum. Now, all three of those criteria, we are light years away from at the moment, because sterling is so much in flux against the euro, the euro is so much in flux anyway, and the EU is evolving, so we want to see us join at the right time… We’re not there yet, so as a holding pattern we stay with sterling for as long as it suits us.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: SAS Shares Halted After Media Speculation

Shares in Scandinavian airline SAS were suspended on Tuesday morning following media reports about the company’s strained finances, according to the Stockholm stock exchange.

The suspension was announced after talks between the Stockholm stock exchange and the Financial Supervision Authority (Finansinspektionen).

“We never comment in detail about individual companies or suspensions of trading. But we will say that we have put a stop to trading in SAS shares until further notice, after consulting with the Financial Supervision Authority,” explained Carl Norell, spokesman for the Stockholm stock exchange, to the TT news agency.

“The background is the information that has swirled in the media about the company’s financial situation.”

“It is to ensure fair trading, that is to say that the whole market has access to the same information. Now we expect clarification from the company in the form of a press conference. And we predict this information will come out during the day,” he said.

SAS has suffered weakening finances since a 2009 investment of 11 billion kronor ($1.64 billion) from the owners, mostly consisting of the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish states.

Despite Sweden investing 2.4 billion kronor in 2009, its current share is valued at 425 million kronor.

Last week, rumours circulated about an SAS crisis and an impending savings programme, with staff forced to reapply for their jobs but with lower wages.

According to the Dagens Industri newspaper (DI), SAS owners held a crisis meeting last Thursday.

Meanwhile, SAS is yet to comment on the information, but has stated that a press statement will be released later in the day, according to a text message sent to TT by Sture Stölen, head of SAS investor relations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Public Trust in BBC Falls Below 50% After Savile

Almost half of licence fee payers no longer trust the BBC in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, according to a poll for one of its own networks.

A survey commissioned by Radio Five Live revealed the public’s faith in the broadcaster has plunged, with 47 per cent admitting they did not believe it was ‘trustworthy’.

Just 45 per cent said they felt it was trustworthy, while the remaining eight per cent did not give an opinion.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


Clinton Joins European Diplomats on Tour Urging Peace in Balkans

The top American and European diplomats are on a joint diplomatic tour of the Balkans, urging rival ethnic groups and governments in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo to settle their differences for the good of their nations.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was talking Tuesday with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. They are then meeting together with Bosnia’s three presidents before traveling to Belgrade for similar talks with Serbian leaders. Clinton and Ashton will see Kosovo’s leaders on Wednesday.

Clinton and Ashton are expected to support each Balkan nation’s efforts to join the EU and NATO.

But they will demand reforms on market and democratic issues as well as the rule of law and greater respect for minorities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Islamism’s Unity

A Sept. 14 attack on the U.S. embassy in Tunis left 4 dead, 49 injured, several buildings looted and burnt out, and the black Salafi flag flying above the embassy grounds. In response, the ruling “moderate” Islamist party of Tunisia, Ennahda, forthrightly condemned the incident; Minister of the Interior Ali Larayedh recognized that the government “failed to protect the embassy and we should offer our apologies to the Americans.” Ennahda’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, more vehemently condemned the Salafis as a “danger” to freedom and security in Tunisia and called on a fight against them through every legal means.

These statements reassured Americans that if long-bearded and burqa’ed crazies want to kill them, moderate-sounding Islamists in ties and hijabs are civilized, law-abiding allies. That in turn fits a policy going back to 1992 of fighting violent Islamists while cooperating with non-violent ones. Thus did American troops execute Osama bin Laden while American presidents helped Islamists reach power in Turkey and in Egypt.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Muslims Attack Coptic Christians in Egypt After Mass

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — Yesterday Muslim Salafis assaulted Christians after Sunday mass, angry that Christians from neighboring villages who have no churches attend mass in the village of Tala, el Fashn, in the Beni Suef Governorate. The pastor of St Georges Church Father Cheroubim Chehab could not go out of church for hours after mass.

Eyewitnesses reported that as Christians left the church, they found a huge mob of mostly young Salafi Muslims waiting for them, armed with batons. The assault lead to 5 Copts being hospitalized after suffering broken limbs, and the torching of two cars which transported the congregation from the other villages.

The pastor of the church contacted the police, asking for help, however, they appeared hours later, only after Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, complained to the ministry of interior against el Fashn police and told them that no forces appeared in the village, and gave the names of six of the perpetrators and asked whether the police in el Fashn are afraid to arrest them. “I want the whole world to know,” he said, “that a priest and his congregation are presently held captives in their church, afraid of the Salafi Muslims surrounding the church.”

Cheroubim said that he looked from the roof of the church and the mob, from Tala and neighboring villages, was huge. “80% had beards.” He said that he stayed inside the church as he “wanted no friction with the Muslims nor with the angry Copts, who wanted me to take other steps.”

Later in the afternoon high officials from the security and police departments in Beni Suef arrived to the village for a reconciliation meeting, and while they were preparing for the meeting, Muslims went into Coptic homes and attacked the inhabitants. Five were hospitalized.

The problem started between the two parties nearly three months ago during Ramadan, when Salafist youths stopped Copts from neighboring villages from attending mass. “We had a meeting with the Muslim elders,” said Rev. Cheroubim, “who told us to wait until after Ramadan when the youth will leave, however, when we wanted a second meeting to solve the matter, we were told to wait until security is better. When security was better Copts from other villages complained that they have been prevented from praying for three months since Ramadan.” He said that only ten men from outside the village came to attend mass, so a large mob of Salafis waited for them after mass. “Muslims from the village held back the village Copts, so that the Salafis were able to beat and terrorize those Copts from outside the village.”

Village Muslims insist that the church is an association and not a church and is for serving the village Christians only, who make up nearly 8% of the inhabitants.

Rev. Cheroubim said that he has been serving in St. George’s church for 5 years and all that time Copts have come from neighboring villages to pray. “It was only during the last 10 days of Ramadan that this started, with complaints about the way the Christian girls are dressed, then it is not a church but an association, then no Copts to come from outside the village, but the main reason is mainly, as one Salafi from the mob was shouting, is that they want to the church closed.”

High officials from Security department arranged for a reconciliation meetings in late afternoon with a group of Muslims and Christians, in which it was agreed that if the is officially licensed then Copts from outside can attend services any time, but if it is an association, then only village Copts will be allowed to attend the services. A penalty clause was included in which any part that attacks the other will pay 500,000 Egyptian pounds. Compensation for damages to the Coptic side will be paid by the government. No one was arrested.

According to Dr. Gabriel, St. George’s Church was licensed five years ago. Rev. Charobim told Copts-United News the Deputy Security Director told the Christian party during the reconciliation meeting “Thank God for the outcome — in other places people get killed.”

The situation is now calm in the village.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Big Oil Underwrites Anti-Israel Conference

Even more controversial than Freeman, however, was Jeffrey Steinberg, who spoke to this year’s gathering during a panel discussion on “The Palestinian Future.” Steinberg, a close associate of convicted felon and political extremist Lyndon LaRouche, advocated an “American Spring” to change U.S. policy toward the Arab world, including by recognizing Palestine as an independent Arab state with full U.N. membership.

Despite the anti-Israel nature of the event, this year’s AUSPC was sponsored by various American Big Oil companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. corporations such as Boeing. The government of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states were also major sponsors.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Emirates: No More Adolescent Brides

Trends are changing, average woman now marries at an average age

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI- Women living in the Persian Gulf oil monarchies are among the most powerful in terms of rights and progress made. The trend for child-brides has almost disappeared and represents one of the most significant victories of the last 20 years.

When the economy of these monarchies was based on pearl fishing and sheep-farming, child-bride marriages were the norm. Two generations later, this trend has been completely reversed. The latest statistics reveal that Abu Dhabi’s inhabitants now marry after their twentieth birthday — men at an average age of 26,5 , while 25,9 is the average age for women. The changing economic trends of the country acted as the first catalyst for this change. The discovery of oil has seen more investments in facilities and infrastructure as well as in education and in additional empowerment among residents. Precocious and combined marriages that were once forced upon young brides is a widespread trend in developing countries.

According to a recently-published UN report, one third of girls in countries throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia get married before reaching the legal age. Among the Arab-Muslim countries, Yemen has the largest number of child-brides, with over 40% of women marrying before the eighteenth birthday. The trend for combined marriages also continues in Saudi Arabia, with mature men marrying girls as young as nine and ten years of age. This conservative tradition is being challenged by a growing concern among citizens of Saudi Arabian countries, who have launched various mouvements and initiatives to address the problem of child-brides, as well as by pressure on behalf of international organisations. Even though there are no existing statistics for the UAE, the child-bride trend began to decline, even among the federation’s socially and economically poorer countries, starting from the early nineties. This is mainly thanks to the higher literacy rates among its citizens, with a higher attendance recorded in both secondary and university education, and for the sheikhs adopting a policy of inserting women in all productive spheres, both administrative and political . Nowadays, it’s the women’s father themselves who want an education and career for their daughters before seeing them married.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

German Turks ‘Send a Billion Euros to Turkey’

One in three German Turks send money back to Turkey — on average around €1,300 per person per year, a new study revealed on Tuesday.

The majority of Germans with a Turkish background — 57 percent — have their own income, revealed the study, carried out by Berlin-based research institute Info and published in the Handelsblatt newspaper. Seventeen percent receive social support.

Info director Holger Liljeberg attributed the transactions to Turks’ “very strong” connection to their homeland. The study also found that some 18 percent of German Turks send goods and food to their friends and relatives — at an average value of €250 a year.

Altogether that amounts to around €90 million in goods and a billion euros in money.

Around half of the 1,000 German Turks asked in the survey said they owned property either in Germany or Turkey, while a third had property in Turkey.

“These figures also underscore the desire of many Turks to make provisions should they move back to Turkey one day,” said Liljeberg.

The study also found that the strong connection to Turkey led many to travel there on a regular basis. “On average the Turks in Germany travel to Turkey 1.9 times a year,” said Liljeberg, adding that one in four Turks travel to Turkey three or four times a year.

“The strong family connections guarantee lively traffic between the two countries, and ensure that contacts don’t break,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Tear Gas, Water Cannon Against Opposition March

On Republic’s anniversary, Kilicdaroglu hit by tear gas

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 29 — Turkish police on Monday threw tear gas to break up a march organized by 40 different secular opposition movements to mark the founding of the Turkish republic, affecting social democratic MP and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the process, Turkish news broadcaster NTV reported. In defiance of a government ban for “security reasons” and of massive police presence, thousands gathered in defense “of the nation and the republic” in the old part of Ankara, near the building that housed Turkey’s first parliament, to march to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who in 1923 founded the secular republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The opposition accuses Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan of harboring a “secret plan” to Islamize the country, destroying Ataturk’s secular legacy in the founding of modern Turkey.

The police used tear gas and water cannons to try to break up the demonstration. Also on Monday, gendarmes prevented 110 buses loaded with demonstrators from other parts of the country from entering the city, Hurriyet online daily reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Mystical Islam ‘A Threat to the Taliban’

The recent attack on a shrine in Pakistan’s northwestern district of Nowshera is proof that the Taliban consider pluralistic Islam a big ideological threat, say experts.

On Sunday, a bomb blast outside the shrine of Kaka Sahib — a 16th century Sunni Muslim saint — in the district Nowshera of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, killed at least three devotees of the saint and wounding 25 people.

“It was a remote-controlled bomb that killed three people at the site,” local police chief Muhammad Hussain told the media. Some Pakistani newspapers have put the death toll higher.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban militants have been known to attack shrines in the region in the past.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Far East

North Korea: ‘World’s Worst Airline’ Launches Online Booking

Air Koryo, the North Korean carrier described as “the world’s worst airline”, has finally moved into the digital age with its first online booking service.

The state-owned airline, which is the only one in the world with just one star according to the ranking service Skytrax, now sells flights from Pyongyang to Beijing and Shenyang in China, and Vladivostok in Russia, on its website.

The website (, which launched in August, promises “easier, quicker, reliable booking and ticketing services.”

Early reports seems to suggest the website is unlikely to help the North Korean flag carrier shake its one-star rating, however. Users have already reported slow response speeds, with some searches not offering any availability for flights, while others result in an error message appearing on the screen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Bail Refused for Taxi Driver Accused of Raping Two Passengers in His Cab

A WOMAN whose cab driver allegedly grabbed her around the throat and kissed her before raping her feared she was going to die like Jill Meagher, a court has heard.

Cab driver Usman Safdar is alleged to have taken advantage of two drunk female passengers in separate incidents seven months apart by engaging them in conversation and then raping them in his taxi.

He touched his second intoxicated victim’s knee, stroked her hair and kissed her hand before grabbing her around the throat and raping her in the back seat, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court was told today.

“The victim was extremely intoxicated and as such (at first) required assistance by an associate to get into the back seat of the taxi,” a tendered police summary said.

“During the journey the accused reached into the rear seat of the taxi and touched the victim on the knee.

The victim called her husband (on her mobile phone) to try and discourage interaction with the accused.”

According to the police summary, tendered during a bail application hearing, the drunk woman moved into the front passenger seat because she felt unwell.

It is alleged Mr Safdar engaged her in conversation and kissed her hand and stroked her hair.

The woman became more frightened when Mr Safdar did not stop at her house, the court heard.

“The accused stopped the taxi in a street two blocks from the victim’s house,” the summary stated.

“The accused grabbed the victim by the throat and kissed her on the lips. The victim panicked as thoughts of the recent incident where Jill Meagher had been murdered entered her mind. The victim was fearful that if she fought she may have a similar fate.”

It was alleged that Mr Safdar, 24, raped the intoxicated woman after she fell backwards between the two front seats on to the rear seat.

“The victim panicked and stated that she froze as the accused removed her jeans,” the summary said.

“After approximately four minutes the accused covered the video camera on the front dash board of the taxi, with a cloth.”

Mr Safdar raped a female passenger in similar circumstances seven months earlier on March 29, it was alleged.

           — Hat tip: Salome[Return to headlines]

Gillard: Australia Must Embrace ‘Asian Century’

Every Australian child should learn Mandarin, Hindi or other regional language as the nation’s future is tied to the rise of the “Asian Century,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a policy speech on Sunday.

“Whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia’s return to global leadership, Asia’s rise. This is not only unstoppable, it is gathering pace,” Gillard said in a long-awaited policy white paper entitled, “Australia in The Asian Century.”

The policy outlines 25 objectives Australia must achieve by 2025 to take advantage of Asia’s rise to boost the wealth of Australians.

Chief among the goals are that every child learn an Asian language, in particular Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian or Hindi, and that they leave school having studied Asian culture.

“Children in kindergarten now will graduate from high school with a sound working knowledge of Asia,” Gillard said at the Lowy Institute in Sydney where she unveiled the white paper.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

8 Killed in Nigerian Church Bombing

[WARNING: Disturbing Content]

A suicide bomber drove a Jeep full of explosives into a Catholic church during morning mass in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least eight people and triggering deadly reprisal attacks.

There was no claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram has bombed several churches in the past in its fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria where the 160 million population is evenly split between Christians and Muslims.

The bomber drove the car into the wall of the packed St Rita’s church in the Malali area of Kaduna, a volatile ethnically and religiously mixed city, witnesses said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Cocaine-Dealing Dad Can Stay in UK

A CONVICTED cocaine dealer from Jamaica who has been in Britain illegally for 12 years was yesterday spared deportation because it would breach his human rights.

Rhomaine Mohan’s “lamentable” history made him a candidate for “automatic deportation”, judges said.

But they dashed a Government bid to kick him out after hearing it would “disadvantage” him in a custody battle for one of his three daughters.

Twice-jailed Mohan had already been removed from the UK once but managed to slip back in using a false passport, the Appeal Court heard.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Over 5 Mln Regularized Immigrants in Italy, +43 Thousand

2.5 million employed, but growing unemployment

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Italy’s regularized immigrant quota has exceeded the 5 million mark with 1.3 million of these from the EU, according to a Caritas report.

The estimate, made at the end of 2011 is included in a Caritas-Immigration dossier presented in Rome Tuesday. The report shows that only 43,000 more immigrants came to the country in 2011 compared to 2010. Immigrants are predominantly Christian. The majority choose to live in the north of Italy (63.4%), 23.8% live in the centre, while only 12.8% take up residence in the south.

The percentage of immigrants compared to resident Italians grew 7.5% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2011. The dossier also shows a 2.9% increase in the amount of permessi di soggiorno (permits to stay in Italy) in force in 2011.

According to the dossier the majority of immigrants arrive from Europe (50,8%). Africa follows with 22,1%, Asia 18,8% and America 8,3%.

At nearly a million, Romanians are the most numerous.

Moroccans totaled 506,000, Albanians nearly half a million, and Ukranians 224,000. Albania leads the way for university students, with over 11,000 in the 2011-2012 academic year. Italy welcomes the most amount of Chinese, Filipino, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan immigrants of all EU member states, according to the findings. And around 2.5 million foreigners have jobs in Italy, representing one-tenth of total employment. In 2011 the dossier shows that more immigrants lost their jobs than did Italians (-170,000 compared to -75,000).

At the same time both immigrant unemployment and the unemployment rate rose — 310,000 and 12.1% compared to a 4% average for Italians, respectively.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Smugglers Charge Iraqi Refugees Up to $16,000 to Enter Italy

Police crack down on immigration scam

(ANSA) — Trento, October 29 — Police in northern Italy said Monday they have broken up an illegal immigration ring in which criminals charged thousands of dollars to sneak fleeing Iraqis into Europe. More than 60 suspects were arrested in the joint operation, coordinated by the anti-mafia prosecutor in the northern city of Trento and involving police in Italy, Germany, Greece and Austria.

About 1,500 illegal immigrants, mostly from Iraq and desperate to leave their war-torn homeland, paid about $16,000 US to get into Italy, according to police. Investigators said the ring, comprised of Iraqis, Kurds, and North Africans, earned as much as $12 million by smuggling in men, women and children. Very few of them were reportedly granted political asylum in Italy; most have been sent back to Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Forget Abortion! NPR Promotes the ‘Rights’ And ‘Souls’ of Plants

As liberal reporters obsess and nearly faint in the waning days of the campaign that conservatives would dare to assert a right to life for a human being conceived in rape, offers a better idea: Plants deserve rights. The NPR headline: “Recognizing the Right of Plants to Evolve.”


The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund argues that greenery does have interests — and rights. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit works with communities around the world to “craft and adopt new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

MSNBC Now Actively Telling Viewers How to Vote on Gay Marriage

It should come as no surprise that MSNBC’s socially liberal anchors are biased in favor of gay marriage — saying it’s an issue of “marriage equality.” But on Friday’s MSNBC Live, anchor Thomas Roberts dropped all pretext of being a neutral journalist by explicitly telling viewers how they should vote on the controversial issue.

Speaking on Friday with Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council, openly gay host Thomas Roberts actually told his audience how to vote on ballot questions in the states of Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington. [See video below.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Three Dirty Words: Tolerance, Diversity, And Welcoming

There are three dirty words that are being used to subvert traditional morality in Western society: tolerance, diversity and welcoming.

These words are liberally used (no pun intended) in education, by the media, and even by our Churches. In themselves, they seem quite innocuous. To the untrained ear they sound like commendable practices geared toward helping folks who are “different” get along.

The fact of the matter is that these words are being used to lull us into an amoral complacency. They are being used as the vanguard for conditioning unsuspecting minds in the regnant Philosophy of Relativism.

Traditional morality and ethics depends on religion, custom, tradition and a sense of revulsion. Obviously, the three dirty words allow for no such standards or restrictions.

Let’s examine these words and what they imply:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]