Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121103

Financial Crisis
»EU Proposes ‘20% VAT Rise on New Build Homes’ Which Could Spell Disaster for Fragile UK Housing Market
»The Fear of the Fickle Money Traders
»Tokyo to Inject US$5.3bn to Jumpstart the Economy
»Benghazi-Gate: A Disgrace to the Nation
»Can Democrat-Leaning Voting Machines Win Election for Obama?
»Ethics Gate — The Evidence — the Head of the Snake in Plain Sight
»Labor Unions Stopped NJ From Receiving Help?
»Liberals Fear Grand-Bargain Betrayal by Obama
»Miami Paper Says Romney 6 Points Ahead of Obama in Florida
»Romney Falsely Labeled a Radical by Watergate Reporter
»‘We Day’ In Manitoba
Europe and the EU
»Finmeccanica: Top Manager Alleges That ‘ the Ministry Wanted 11% of €5 Billion’
»Germany Sees Italian Boom in German Language Courses
»German Neo-Nazi Turned Jihadist Who Went to Fight in Afghanistan Admits He Made a ‘Big Mistake’ After Wife Misses Supermarkets and Her Mobile Phone
»Greece: Finance Prosecutor Targets Venizelos on Lagarde List
»Italy: Seven Reported for VAT Fraud, 1.2 Million Euros Seized
»Italy: ‘Work-Shy Doctor Played Tennis During Hospital Hours’
»Italy: Graft ‘Worse Now Than in the 1990s’ Says Ex-Judge-Turned-Politician
»Russia and Italy to Start Bilateral Defense Exercise
»Albright Raps ‘Disgusting Serbs’ In Prague Book Signing
North Africa
»Obama’s Benghazi Investigator Tied to Libya Bombing
»U.S. Considered Moving Benghazi Consulate a Month Before Deadly Attack
Middle East
»Arab League vs Europe: We Have Our Human Rights Charter, We Shall Have Our Court
»Fr Gheddo: Assad & Rebels Are Targeting Christians in Syria
»Jordan: Father Strangles Daughter for Honor Reason
»Obama’s Middle East? It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again
»U.N. Rep Calls for ‘World Capital’ … In Islamic Istanbul
South Asia
»Di Paola Tells Marines They Are Injustly Held in India
»Pakistan: Muslim Parents Attack Daughter With Acid
»Suicide Attacker Kills Anti-Taliban Tribal Head in Pakistan
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Somalia: Suicide Bombers Attack Restaurant in Mogadishu, 3 Killed
Culture Wars
»‘Obama is Telling Kids, F—- Your Parents’

Financial Crisis

EU Proposes ‘20% VAT Rise on New Build Homes’ Which Could Spell Disaster for Fragile UK Housing Market

The EU could try to scrap the UK’s zero VAT rating on new homes in a move to standardise tax rates across Europe.

A consultation document has been issued that proposes bringing in a standard 20 per cent VAT on all new-build homes — which would spell disaster for the UK’s fragile housing market.

If the proposal were to be agreed and rubber stamped by Europe and the UK government, it would drive up the average house price of a new home in the UK by £48,000 the Daily Express reported.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Fear of the Fickle Money Traders

This election may be more about the surrender of America to Islam than anyone realizes

Fear can freeze a deer in the headlights of a car, cause a grizzly bear to flee at the sound of a loud noise, or cause a consortium of international banking interests to start having heart palpitations. Recent interviews with highly-placed officials in a number of European and South American banking circles indicates a new, almost irrational fear that is beginning to rise among them. It’s not about inflation, depression or recession, but it is so frightening to these individuals that they are being driven to talk about something they typically never talk about.

The topic? Islam. Contrary to likely presumption, it’s not just the movement of Muslims across Europe from Africa and the Middle East and the mobilization of Islamist factions in these areas — but the vast migration that has begun towards the United States.

Why, you may ask, would this be of such great concern to the banking communities of the world? Well, despite their varied persuasions and allegiances, they fear the loss of the last great hope for freedom in the world: America. They fear the surrender of America, that bastion of safety and the free market in the world, to Sharia law.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Tokyo to Inject US$5.3bn to Jumpstart the Economy

The Japanese government hopes to increase output and rein in deflation. Japan’s Coast Guard will also get more because of higher cost due to the territorial dispute with China.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Japan’s cabinet approved a 422.6 billion yen (U$ 5.3 billion) economic stimulus package on Friday. It includes more money for the Coast Guard, which has spent more than expected because of the dispute with China over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

The move was decided because something had to be done. With money coming from reserve funds, a government spokesperson said the stimulus should “lead to an exit from deflation and jumpstart the economy.”

However, the move was expected to put pressure on the Bank of Japan to extend its 80 trillion yen asset-purchase scheme after a policy meeting next week, analysts said.

Japan’s economic crisis stems from the US recession; however, domestic political instability since 2005 and the decision to shut down nuclear plants have made matters worse.

Without domestic sources, Japan must now spend 30 per cent more to meet its energy needs from abroad.

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


Benghazi-Gate: A Disgrace to the Nation

What is now being called “Benghazi-Gate” by internet journalists and bloggers but being ignored by the major American media, other than investigative reporters of Fox News, is a disgrace to the nation, and a disgrace to those of the major national media who pose and posture as impartial, objective, independent journalists.

Whatever the politics, party, or choice for president any American may have, the impartial, independent, objective reality is that what happened in Benghazi — and in its aftermath — is a national disgrace.

It is now beyond all reasonable doubt that the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama, and Obama himself, did not speak truth to the American people of what happened at Benghazi, nor how, and why it happened.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Can Democrat-Leaning Voting Machines Win Election for Obama?

This election is within the margin of fraud

Imagine you go to the polls and choose Mitt Romney on an electronic machine, but your vote comes up Barack Obama. So you re-enter your choice, but the president’s name still stubbornly appears. Then a third try. Ditto.

Innocent malfunction…or something else?

Whatever the case, this has already happened to voters in states such as Nevada, Ohio, Kansas, North Carolina, Missouri, and Colorado—four of which are swing states.

This hasn’t escaped the notice of the Republican National Committee, which has just sent a letter outlining its concerns to the secretaries of state of the aforementioned.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ethics Gate — The Evidence — the Head of the Snake in Plain Sight

The media used to be the 4th leg of government. When the media does its job we all benefit and the truth wins. When it fails to do its job lies and corruption ensue. I, like many Americans, watch with frustration the news and see broadcasters more interested in celebrity status, entertaining rather than doing their jobs. Spin and propaganda have replaced stories now reported as news to promote the agendas of the current Administration, the networks and company owners. True investigative reporters are ridiculed and silenced.

It is time for citizens to take action to force change upon the system. Janet Napolitano is promoting a security campaign advertising the message “If you see something, say something” to Americans citizens. We saw something and now we are saying something. It is not what Napolitano had in mind but is none the less important for every one of us to know.


The establishment press, MSM and others negligently and with deliberate bias, support the administration, fall in line, promote disinformation and lies as news to influence public opinion and promote their agenda. If they don’t, the Government is ready to authorize bullying, sanctions, reprimands, censorship, penalties, license cancellation, filing lawsuits (as seen with the recent DOJ suit against Gallup), jail or worse. Government has no limitations and can take over companies like General Motors and Chrysler and take on companies like Boeing and Gibson Guitar as well as state governments, sheriffs and judges attempting to deal with immigration violations, voter registration, fraud and eligibility issues, while applying “Chicago” intimidation and bully tactics. This is not the Government we expected when “We the People” spoke during the last election. The old slogan of “Hope and Change” is gone. The new slogan is “Hoping for Change” and for Americans to wake up.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Labor Unions Stopped NJ From Receiving Help?

If ever there was a case for right to work legislation in a northern union demolished state, this story coming out of storm ravaged New Jersey today should do the trick.

Homes, businesses and lives were destroyed by tropical storm Sandy. Citizens are going muzzle to muzzle over a tank of gasoline, assaulting fellow citizens for a few dollars, dumpster diving for food, looting their neighbors and begging for help without fundamental needs.

Utility companies traveled from as far away as Alabama to jump in and help restore power to areas where state officials are predicting that it could take more than another week to restore power and stop the chaos. But some of those utility workers are sitting idle, not allowed to set foot on Jersey soil to restore power. Why?

Crews from Decatur Utilities out of Alabama headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Liberals Fear Grand-Bargain Betrayal by Obama

(Politico) Labor unions and liberal interest groups are going all-out for President Barack Obama’s reelection — but they’re just as ready to turn that firepower back on him if he betrays them with a grand bargain.

These groups fear a victorious Obama would ink a deal with Republicans during the fiscal cliff negotiations that slashes entitlement benefits. And that could hurt the very coalition of voters — minorities, women and low- and middle-income families — that would claim credit for his second term. Even as they turn out the vote in public to keep Obama in office, in private they’re plotting a strategy aimed at pressuring him to protect those who reelected him.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Miami Paper Says Romney 6 Points Ahead of Obama in Florida

(AGI) Miami, Nov. 3- Three days before the US elections, a poll by the Miami Herald confirmed Mitt Romney’s solid advantage over Barack Obama in the key state of Florida, which grants 29 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to reach the White House’s steps. According to the newspaper, Romney had a 6 point lead over Obama, with 51% of the voters in his favor against 45% for Obama.

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

Romney Falsely Labeled a Radical by Watergate Reporter

“Carl Bernstein on Mitt Romney’s Radicalism” is the headline over his Daily Beast article, as if Bernstein has performed a great public service by telling us that he has published the definitive exposé of Romney just days before the election. The piece is full of innuendo and distortions and even qualifies as laughable. Bernstein has lost his magic and has become a journalistic joke.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


‘We Day’ In Manitoba

Some 16,000 young Manitobans spent Wednesday getting inspired at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg as part of We Day.

The basic angle is that awareness of the world’s great injustices and equalities is raised, and then the question that is directed at our children is, ‘what can WE do about it?”

They are preying on our collective guilt as the lucky ones who live in a developed county. Like the Hitler Youth were indoctrinated in anti-Semitism, our children are being similarly inculcated in the Globalist mindset.

We Day is “awakening the spirit of volunteerism,” and “educating, engaging and empowering socially conscious youth to become agents of change.”

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Finmeccanica: Top Manager Alleges That ‘ the Ministry Wanted 11% of €5 Billion’

Reports of a €550m kickback on business deals with Brazil. Scajola under investigation

NAPLES — An 11% “return” on a business deal allegedly conceals the payment of kickbacks to politicians and wheeler-dealers. Contracts were clinched or sought in four countries thanks to the contacts of former premier Silvio Berlusconi and his most trusted aides, such as the former minister and People of Freedom party coordinator, Claudio Scajola. The statements made by Lorenzo Borgogni, former director of Institutional Relations at Finmeccanica to investigating magistrates Vincenzo Piscitelli and Henry John Woodcock, have revealed underhand dealings behind international orders in India, Panama, Indonesia and Russia. Moreover, the arrest warrant for the top manager Paolo Pozzessere mentions other key witnesses, such as the director-general of Fincantieri Giuseppe Bono and the former chairman and CEO of the holding specialised in defence systems, Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini, interviewed by investigators as a witness.

“They want 11 percent”

It was 10 November when Borgogni was questioned on the negotiations entered into by Fincantieri and Finmeccanica for the supply of 11 military frigates to the Brazilian government, that had suddenly foundered. “The link between Italy and Brazil was the MPs Claudio Scajola, and Massimo Nicolucci from Naples, since Scajola had a very good relationship with the Brazilian defence Minister Jobin. I would like to point out that even if at the time Scajola was Minister for Economic Development, his ministry had nothing to do with the deal for the supply of frigates. Paolo Pozzessere, who handled relations between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica, told me that he had heard from Giuseppe Bono (director-general of Fincantieri) that in exchange for paving the way for a deal, a “return” had been agreed — that Fincantieri itself would have to pay for in the form of an agency agreement — amounting to 11% of the overall value of the deal, amounting to €2.5 billion for Fincantieri alone. This “return” percentage, according to what I was told by Pozzessere, would have been in part shared between Scajola and Nicolucci on one hand and Jobin on the other”…

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

Germany Sees Italian Boom in German Language Courses

(AGI) — Berlin, Nov 3 — Italians and Spaniards are rushing to sign-up for German courses in Berlin’s language schools. The “Berliner Zeitung” has revealed that in the multi-ethnic district of Neukoelln, the “Volkshochschule” (the city university) has literally been stormed by youth coming from Southern European countries, anxious to learn the language of Goethe in order to find a job. VHS Vice-director Jochen Mainka explains that “now the level has changed”. “Before only people who were not used to learning came,” while now students are mostly university graduates who already speak one or two languages but want to learn German in order to enter the German labor market. “Three years ago, 70% of those enrolled were made up of Turks, but for the last two years those arriving are increasingly Italians, Spaniards and French,” remarked the manager, who confermed that the most conspicuous group of students is made up of 500 Spaniards, followed in the roles by Italians and Greeks. The cost of courses is, in fact, very low with students paying only Euros 150.00 for a 100 hour course, divided into 5 hours of lessons every morning. The newspaper specifies that the more the economic crisi in southern Europe spreads, the more youth come to Germany from those countries, and particularly to Berlin. The VHS of Neukoelln has become a thermometer for the crisis.” .

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

German Neo-Nazi Turned Jihadist Who Went to Fight in Afghanistan Admits He Made a ‘Big Mistake’ After Wife Misses Supermarkets and Her Mobile Phone

A former neo-Nazi who joined the Taliban and attacked an American base near the Afghan-Pakistan border has told a German court that he made a ‘terrible mistake’.

The German man, who was only named as Thomas U, spoke of his regret over signing up for the German Taliban Mujahidin (DTM) and travelling with his wife to the war-torn Afgfhan-Pakistan border to become a terrorist, according to The Times.

His catalogue of complaints over his poorly thought-out decision included his fellow combatants’ drug habits, a lack of hygiene, contracting hepititis A and his friends being horribly killed by Pakistani forces helicopters.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece: Finance Prosecutor Targets Venizelos on Lagarde List

PASOK leader fighting on two fronts, with unrest from the ranks

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, NOVEMBER 2 — Finance prosecutor Grigoris Peponis intends to ask parliament to investigate two former Greek finance ministers for criminal negligence for failing to prosecute possible tax evaders on the so-called Lagarde list of Greek bank accounts stashed away in Switzerland.

Peponis will move against current PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and former 2010 finance minister Giorgos Papacostantinou, also from PASOK, after Wednesday’s parliament vote on troika-mandated austerity measures. The prosecutor’s announcement came just as the so-called Greek Assange, i.e. Hot Doc magazine editor Costas Vaxevanis, was being acquitted on Thursday of charges stemming from his publication of the list of 2,059 Swiss bank account holders.

In his article, Vaxevanis accused the two ministers and two finance guard chiefs of failing to investigate possible tax evaders on the list, which current IMF chief and former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde provided to Papacostantinou on a CD in 2010.

The CD contains the names of Greek citizens stashing undeclared income totaling an estimated 1.5-2 billion euros at HSBC bank in Switzerland since 2003. Papacostantinou mysteriously lost the disk, which resurfaced a month ago in the hands of Venizelos. Athens authorities recently admitted the original had been lost, and that they had asked Paris for another copy.

In what pundits say is an attempt to divert public opinion from the Lagarde list, the Vaxevanis acquittal and the Peponis announcement, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras last night told a congressional transparency committee that the Finance Guard is drawing up a list of 54,000 names of Greeks who moved more than 100,000 euros offshore after the economic crisis began, in 2010.

“This list will be much more crucial and probably more useful than the Lagarde one,” the minister said. “We will call in 15,000 people for questioning on the provenance of funds they moved offshore.” Taking the bull by the horns, the 18 MPs from Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn on Friday filed a complaint against Papacostantinou and Venizelos for dereliction of duty.

But Venizelos is on the hot seat for more reasons than a possible indictment: two of his party’s 33 MPs defected on Thursday, while others are threatening to vote against the new austerity measures, without which the troika (EU-ECB-IMF) might hold out on the 31.5-billion-euro bailout Greece is gasping for.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Seven Reported for VAT Fraud, 1.2 Million Euros Seized

Charged with criminal association

(ANSA) — Rome, November 2 — Italian tax police on Friday seized over 1.2 million euros of assets deriving from alleged tax evasion in connection with the wholesale purchase of electronic and high-tech items worth over 13 million euros. Seven people have been charged with criminal association and tax fraud in relation to the operation, which consisted in issuing false invoices in order to avoid paying VAT on purchases from suppliers in other EU countries and then claiming credits on the tax that had not been paid. The organisation, based in Ciampino southwest of Rome, was led by a Romanian national with numerous previous convictions. All the other members of the organisation were Italian.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Work-Shy Doctor Played Tennis During Hospital Hours’

Cited for defrauding State

(ANSA) — Bergamo, November 2 — A public-health doctor filmed played tennis during hospital work hours was cited Friday for allegedly defrauding the State in this northern Italian city.

The man, who has not been named, allegedly avoided controls by filling out permits rather than using his hospital-exit badge.

Tax police filmed his tennis matches, “which sometimes went on for hours,” they said.

Meanwhile in Reggio Calabria four doctors were cited for profiting from a non-existent medical company.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Graft ‘Worse Now Than in the 1990s’ Says Ex-Judge-Turned-Politician

Rome, 24 Oct. (AKI) — The level of corruption in Italy is worse now than it was in the early 1990s when a slew of graft scandals brought down the political establishment, according to Antonio Di Pietro, one of the principal judges in the clean hands trials.

“The difference between now and 1992 is that there is as much graft and embezzlement going on but more impunity,” said Di Pietro, who now heads Italy’s left-of-centre Italy of Values party.

“Citizens are more alienated and less is being done to combat this scourge — the new anti-corruption bill is an example,” Di Pietro told La Repubblica TV.

Even politicians from his own party were not untainted, he noted.

“We’ve tried to bring in new blood and the first thing they’ve done is to understand how to steal.”

The former regional coordinator for the Italy of Values party in the Lazio region, Domenico Maruccio, accused of embezzling 700,000 euros of party funds, is one of dozens of politicians in the Lazio, Lombardy and Campania regions who are are under investigation for alleged theft of public party funds.

Most of the politicians mired in a barrage of embezzlement probes are from the countries’ conservative political parties, ranging from former premier and billionaire media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party to the formerly separatist Northern League party.

The current government led by technocrat Mario Monti is trying to pass a new anti-corruption law, which Di Pietro has especially criticised for its failure to penalise false accounting, a practice that was legalised in 2003, making it easier for companies to conceal kickback payments.

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

Russia and Italy to Start Bilateral Defense Exercise

(AGI) — Taranto, Nov. 2 — Russia and Italy will start a bilateral air and naval defense exercise on November 5 in the Gulf of Taranto and the Ionian Sea along the south of Italy.

The drill, dubbed IONIEX 2012, will begin once Russian destroyer Smetlivy and and rescue tug MB 304 reach Taranto, and will end on November 14. The schedule will include both training sessions and cultural events in the town of Taranto (November 5- 7 and 10- 14) and exercises at sea (November 8-9).

The Russian ships will leave the Port of Taranto on November 15. The Italians will deploy frigate Zeffiro, offshore patrol boat Aviere, a submarine, aircraft (AV8B) and the San Marco Regiment marine unit of the Italian Navy. The purpose of the bilateral defense drill is to enhance cooperation and interoperability of the two countries’ crews in a maritime environment through surveillance exercises, tactical procedures, operations and fire prevention activities at sea as envisaged in the agreement signed by Russia and Italy on November 30, 1989.

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


Albright Raps ‘Disgusting Serbs’ In Prague Book Signing

(Washington Examiner) Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, confronted by pro-Serbian protesters who called her a war criminal during a recent book signing in her native Prague, pushed them aside as “disgusting Serbs” in a confrontation going viral on the internet.

Displaying her trademark feistiness, Albright is seen in the video as sternly shouting “get out, get out,” to the protesters who arrived with a film crew. As they closed in on her, she stood up and said, “That’s it! Get out,” and soon walked away with an aide after saying, “they are disgusting Serbs.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Obama’s Benghazi Investigator Tied to Libya Bombing

JERUSALEM — The Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi attack, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, previously held clandestine meetings with Hamas aimed at opening U.S. dialogue with the terrorist group, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

Sources within Hamas previously disclosed to WND the June 2009 meeting. The gathering allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders, Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is one of the main Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Pickering is further tied to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa through his role as a member of the small board of the International Crisis Group, or ICG, one of the main proponents of the international “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.

The doctrine is the very military protocol used to justify the NATO bombing campaign that brought down Moammar Ghadafi’s regime in Libya.

Gareth Evans, president emeritus of the ICG, is the founder and co-author of the doctrine.

Billionaire activist George Soros is on the ICG’s executive board. Soros’ Open Society Institute is also one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the group that devised the doctrine.

The ICG itself has long petitioned for talks with Hamas as well as normalized relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, for years urging the Egyptian government to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party, as WND previously reported.

[Return to headlines]

U.S. Considered Moving Benghazi Consulate a Month Before Deadly Attack

Classified cable shows U.S. recommended the consulate move into CIA base

Consulate staff believed that Libyan militia guarding their compound had been infiltrated and found member of the unit photographing the base

The United States considered moving its Benghazi consulate a mile away to a CIA base a month before the deadly attack by militants linked to al-Qaeda which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three.

A classified cable also reveals the U.S. mission drafted a contingency plan to suspend its operation as security in the Libyan city deteriorated amid increasing violence.

The secret cable, sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office, reflected officials’ concerns that the Libyan militia protecting the consulate could have been infiltrated by extremists.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Arab League vs Europe: We Have Our Human Rights Charter, We Shall Have Our Court

A report by the European parliament on human rights in the United Arab Emirates stirs a hornet’s nest, especially when it comes to dissidents, death penalty and the rights of women and foreign workers.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The Arab League has come to the defence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has been criticised in a human rights report by the European parliament. The League said that it already had an Arab human rights charter and could set up an Arab Court for Human Rights; “that’s why we do not wait on international parties to assess human rights in the Arab world”.

Released on 26 October, the European report criticised the UAE’s treatment of political dissidents and its use of the death penalty, calling on the major oil producer to respect the rights of women and migrant workers.

The European parliament report noted that the UAE had “accelerated its crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society activists, bringing the number of political detainees to 64”, most of whom are held in solitary confinement and without legal help.

The Arab League’s response calls the report “biased and prejudiced,” following a similar statement by the UAE’s foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, who said, “The biased and prejudiced report levelled unsubstantiated accusations without examining the facts of the situation on the ground”.

On the issue of the rights of women and migrant workers, the foreign minister noted that people from more than 200 nations lived in the country “in an atmosphere of openness and tolerance”.

“The report contains huge exaggerations in its comments against a sovereign nation,” Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmad Bin Hala said. “Perhaps the EU did not look into the circumstances in a very accurate manner, and the reality of human rights in the Arab world is still absent to international human right bodies”.

He pointed out that the foreign ministers of the 22-nation league had agreed to the creation of an Arab Court for Human Rights, which will be discussed in the upcoming Arab Summit.

“We all know that the UAE is a country that’s open to the world,” Hala added. It has “people from more than 193 countries working there. It enjoys a high number of investments, and economic and social activity. Due to its openness, everything is clear and transparent in the UAE”.

The UAE is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and is an important business partner for the European Union, with bilateral trade last year reaching € 41.4 billion (US$ 54 billion).

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

Fr Gheddo: Assad & Rebels Are Targeting Christians in Syria

(AGI) — Vatican City, Nov. 3 — Syrian Christians are the primary victims of the ongoing civil war, being “targeted by the insurgents and by Government forces, hounded down in the area of Wadi Sayed”, where they have always co-habited with the Sunnis. This is the report of Father Gheddo, a missionary and journalist and founder of ‘Mondo e Missioni’. “Christians in Syria — the cleric recalled — represent about 10% of the population and in the past some of them have held important offices in Ministries and public administration positions”.

“All of this has changed now and according to sources close to the Holy See, the Christians who have lost everything and are now displaced amount to 300,000”, affirmed the elderly missionary-journalist who also said that, in his opinion, others will not flee”. “The future is becoming increasingly uncertain and they fear that they are bound for a destiny shared by many Christians who, after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, had to abandon their homes, leave everything behind and escape”, wrote Father Gheddo on his Website who also stated that this same destiny in the recent past has “struck more than 700,000 people who had to leave Iraq”.

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

Jordan: Father Strangles Daughter for Honor Reason

(ANSAmed) — Amman, November 1 — A Jordanian man killed his 22 year old doughter by strangling her after suspecting she was having a romantic relation with a man, police source said on Thursday.

The man, from the eastern city of Zarqa, strangled his daughter with his bare hands and will face charges of premeditated murder for killing his divorced daughter, said the official. The 56 year old father surrendered to the police claiming to have killed his daughter for honor reason.

In his initial testimony to the police and Quraan, the suspect said he was “suspicious of his daughter’s behaviour because she wanted to marry a man against his wishes”, the source said.

The issue of honour killing is common in the conservative society, although its rate dropped after years of campaigning, according to activists. Every year around 20 women are killed in honour related crimes, most of whom come from families with limited income.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Middle East? It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Joanathan Neumann

Among critics of Barack Obama, comparisons with Jimmy Carter became ever more frequent as his presidency progressed.. After all, both presided over stagnant economies, created large new federal departments, bailed out auto companies, sought to reform healthcare, and put pressure on Israel. Both presidents also exhibited similar accomplishments and interests: one, a peanut farmer and one-term governor who emerged from obscurity to beat the incumbent (but unelected) Republican president, Gerald Ford; the other, a community organiser and one-term senator who also came from nowhere to overcome Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment in a bruising primary and go on to win the contest to succeed President George W. Bush.


Back in 1980, a joke went around: “What’s flat as a pancake and glows in the dark? Iran, after Reagan becomes president.” The election, which Reagan won, fell on the first anniversary of the hostage-taking, with the diplomats still in captivity. They were released on the day of the new president’s inauguration. In the 2012 election, Iranian Islamism was still a primary issue, but now joined by Arab Islamism spreading across the Middle East.

[JP note: if Obama gets in again, it might be all over.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.N. Rep Calls for ‘World Capital’ … In Islamic Istanbul

(CNS News) The world needs a global capital and it should be the capital of Islamic Turkey, Istanbul, according to a UN special representative. Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, wrote a Nov. 1, 2012, opinion piece for the controversial al Jazeera English site calling for a “global capital” because of integration “by markets, by globally constituted battlefields, by changing geopolitical patterns.”

While Turkey is a longstanding U.S. ally and a member of NATO, its nearly 80 million population is 99.8 percent Muslim, according to the CIA Factbook. Its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had several run-ins with Israel over access to Gaza. In March, he urged Israel to “stop the brutal attack against Palestinians and stop the massacre and bloodshed.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Di Paola Tells Marines They Are Injustly Held in India

(AGI) Rome, Nov. 3 — The Italian defence minister, Giampaolo Di Paola, told the two marines, Massimiliano La Torre and Salvatore Girone, “You are unjustly held in India.” He was speaking via a video link on the occasion of his greeting to Italian military personnel operating abroad. He hadn’t been expected to connect with Kochi in Kerala state, India, where the two marines have been held for more than eight months.

Minister Di Paola brought greetings from Italy, saying “we feel close to you and you will always be in our thoughts until a just resolution of the case. I am convinced that this solution will be the recognition by the Indian Supreme Court of the right of Italy to judge you in Italy. We are confident of that.” The two marines expressed thanks at support from Italy, thanks not to Di Paola — said Girone — but also to the Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and the entire government “for the support we have received for over eight months and the significant commitment that Italy is making to resolve the issue.” La Torre also thanked “the Italian people for the support they are giving us.” Minister Di Paola spoke again: “You do not have to thank us. It is our duty to be at your side. It is we who thank you for the dignity and honour with which you are handling this difficult and prolonged situation.

I sincerely wish you good luck and I am confident that you will be able to hug your loved ones not only there, like now, but also in Italy, and this has a different flavour.” .

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

Pakistan: Muslim Parents Attack Daughter With Acid

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

(ABC News) Pakistani parents in a remote village allegedly killed their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid all over her face and body after they caught her talking to an unknown boy, according to local police and hospital officials.

The incident happened in Kotli, a small town in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The parents allegedly confessed to the attack after she spoke with a boy outside their house.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Suicide Attacker Kills Anti-Taliban Tribal Head in Pakistan

(AGI) — Buner, Nov 3 — A suicide bomber aboard a motorbike has assassinated a Pakistani tribal leader hostile to the Taliban in Buner, in the north-western province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also called the “North West Frontier”. The victim, Fateh Khan, belonged to the National Awami Party — a left-leaning party with seats in the central government in Islamabad — representing Pashtun nationalism. Khan had founded a local militia to combat the Taliban militants and oversaw the district committee for pacification.

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

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia: Suicide Bombers Attack Restaurant in Mogadishu, 3 Killed

(AGI) — Mogadishu, Nov 3 — At least three persons are dead, including a guard, in a double suicide attack against a restaurant in Mogadishu. Spokesman for the Somali police Abdi Adan made the announcement, saying that numerous other persons were wounded. It is not clear if the two attackers are among the victims. The attackers opened fire against the guards at the entrance to the restaurant, who in their turn responded with fire, preventing the attackers from entering. At that point the attackers blew themselves up.

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

Culture Wars

‘Obama is Telling Kids, F—- Your Parents’

Video reveals shocking rants of White House-backed ‘gay’ activist

A newly compiled video exposes the chief “anti-bullying” activist endorsed by the Obama administration spewing an obscenity-laced, startling message to “gay” kids in America.

The White House website, under its “Civil Rights” section, includes links and videos recorded by Barack Obama, Joe Biden and others, supporting the mission of “gay” activist Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project, an effort to help homosexual teens survive bullying during their teenage years.

But a recent video produced by the Faith Family Freedom Fund reveals Savage has touted the White House’s support as proof the president is backing his shocking message:

“That meant,” Savage says of Obama’s participation in his It Gets Better Project, “the president of the United States was telling queer kids, ‘There’s something wrong with your parents, there’s something wrong with your preachers, there’s something wrong with your teachers, and f— those people!’“

The video reveals Savage further blasting those who believe in Jesus as “spiritually abused,” wishing Republicans would die and referring to politically conservative Christians as “pieces of s—.”

[Return to headlines]