Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121107

Financial Crisis
»All the US Wants From Germany — Fix the Euro
»ATM Guilt: Your Paper Receipt is Destroying the Earth
»Ballooning Deficit to Up Pressure for Spanish Bailout
»Foreign Investment Funds Pouring Money Back Into Italy
»Greece’s IMF Riots: Coming Soon to America
»Greece Braces for Key Vote on Fresh Austerity Measures
»Obama Re-Election Prompts Largest Stock Market Drop in a Year
»10 Dire Consequences of Obama’s Re-Election Victory
»America is a Nation That Hates Itself
»Bill O’Reilly: ‘The White Establishment is Now the Minority’
»Breaking: TSA Plans to Track All Daily Travels to Social Events, Grocery Store or Work
»California Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Sentenced to Year in Prison
»Calif. Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Gets Prison
»Obama’s Victory Worries the Markets, But Strengthens the Gay Marriage
»Obama-Land vs. The USA: The End of a Country, Its People and Liberty
»Obama Floats Carbon Tax Day After Election Victory
»Obama Wins Re-Election
»Obama’s Victory
»Puerto Rico Wants to Become the 51st State of the US
»The End of an Empire
»Vatican Paper Asks if U.S. Can Retake World Leadership Role
»Weapons Companies’ Shares Soar After U. S. Election Results
Europe and the EU
»Belgian Stamps to Smell and Taste of Chocolate
»E-Books Are Tracking Your Reading Habits
»Five Gang Rapes a Week in Belgium
»France: Occupy Le Mosque: France’s New Far-Right Nativism
»Germany Wins Record Number of Michelin Stars
»Islamophobia Awareness Month Launched in Europe
»Italian MEP Calls Obama Re-Election ‘Bad Omen for World’
»Italy: Father Stabs Two Children to Death After Separation
»‘Kite Surfing’ Helps Harness Wind Power
»Northern European Regions the Most Innovative: Study
»To be a Jew in Denmark
»UK: Liverpool Care Pathway: Minister Orders Report Into Cash Rewards
»Woolly Mammoth ‘Helmut’ Found Near Paris
»‘We Have Achieved Almost Nothing’ An Insider’s View of EU Efforts in Kosovo
North Africa
»Egypt: Salafists Seize Church Land in Cairo to Hit Back at New Patriarch
»Muslim Egyptian Woman Cut Hair of Christian Schoolgirl in Subway
»Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Princess Discovered in Unusual Spot
Middle East
»Christian Suffering in Syria
South Asia
»Dozens Missing as Refugee Boat Sinks in Bay of Bengal
»Rasmussen: ‘We Will Not Abandon Afghanistan’
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Gorilla Tourism Funds Congolese Rebels
»Brain Drain: UK is Losing 1,500 Managers a Week in Mass Exodus of Middle-Class Professionals
»European Travel Visa Requirement for Turks Could Soon be Dropped
Culture Wars
»Can Muslim Doctors Refuse to Treat the Opposite Sex?
»Denmark: Concerns of Ethnic Bullying After Housing Board Axes Christmas Tree
»Gay Cameroonian Wins Asylum in Switzerland
»Gay Parenting Conducive to Child Sexual Abuse
»Spanish Court Upholds Gay Marriage
»Nobel Academy Member ‘Friends With Mo Yan’

Financial Crisis

All the US Wants From Germany — Fix the Euro

At the US ambassador’s post-election breakfast in Berlin on Wednesday it was agreed that the major — if not only — expectation for Germany from Barack Obama’s new presidency would be that it sort out the euro crisis.

Ambassador Philip Murphy agreed that the main European issue for the US was the economy, suggesting the old adage that when one side of the Atlantic sneezes, the other catches a cold had never been more apt. “We care enormously about Germany and how it does,” the ambassador said. “There is enormous linkage between our countries.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

ATM Guilt: Your Paper Receipt is Destroying the Earth

Quantifying the carbon footprint of your receipt is a minor part of the larger integrated system designed to charge individuals for every unit of carbon — the very carbon these megabanks have priced and placed into commodity trading for huge potential profits.

See this snapshot showing the prompt:

In the full spectrum, it is a subtle reminder of the larger game at work. The financial manipulations by banks floated by the bailout not only extend to making a killing on fees, or investing consumer funds on the derivatives market, but to colluding on the still emerging carbon trading market that could cost American consumers trillions in new costs. JP Morgan Chase is in on the game. So is Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Barclays, Bank of America, and most of the other megabanks who’ve already conquered the Western world.

The system wants you to go cashless, without receipts, all in the name of carbon reduction and doing your part to ‘save the earth.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ballooning Deficit to Up Pressure for Spanish Bailout

The EU commission on Wednesday (7 November) is likely to forecast a larger-than-expected deficit for Spain, adding pressure on the country to ask for a bailout.

Spain’s public deficit for this year — already adjusted twice in recent months — is now expected to reach eight percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to draft figures seen by AFP.

This will be almost two percent more than a previous estimate when Spain obtained a year extra to bring its deficit below the three-percent threshold under EU rules.

In addition, recession is to last until 2014, making it difficult for the Spanish government to push for more austerity measures to bring the deficit down.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Foreign Investment Funds Pouring Money Back Into Italy

‘A sign things are happening,’ trade promotion agency head says

(ANSA) Rome, November 7; Foreign investment funds are pouring money back into Italy, a clear indication that the government’s reforms are creating a positive impression of the country, the head of Italy’s investment promotion authority said Wednesday.

“Since the end of September-beginning of October international investment funds have doubled their positions in Italy,” Riccardo Maria Monti, the head of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency ICE said. This is a clear sign that “in Italy things are happening.

In other words, funds are voting with their money,” Monti said during a Senate hearing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece’s IMF Riots: Coming Soon to America

The video footage below shows how serious the situation is in Greece as cops battle protesters angry over austerity and the bankster looting of their country.

Americans may think this sort of thing can’t happen here, but the globalists plan to take them down too. The economic meltdown is a slow burn that will eventually lead to violence, but Americans will not be just throwing Moltov cocktails like the Greeks.

They will undoubtedly be shooting if things go according to the globalist plan and IMF riots break out in America.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece Braces for Key Vote on Fresh Austerity Measures

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has pleaded with politicians to vote through a fresh round of austerity measures crucial to securing the country’s next round of bailout funds.

Parliament will vote later on 13.5bn euros ($17.3bn; £10.5bn) of measures, including tax rises and pension cuts.

Mr Samaras said without the bailout, the country would run out of money this month and face “catastrophe”.

In Athens, protesters clashed with riot police who fired tear gas.

Once again trouble broke out in Athens’s Syntagma Square, where tens of thousands of people have been protesting all evening.

Petrol bombs were thrown at riot police, who responded with volleys of tear gas.

Flares were hurled into a security cordon around the parliament, where MPs are debating a deeply unpopular package.

It is expected to scrape through with a wafer-thin majority, showing the depth of opposition in the parliament.

The scenes outside the parliament are also a reminder that the austerity measures will be extraordinarily difficult to implement.

In a country where one in four people are out of work, this is a tough message to sell for the prime minister.

The fresh package of austerity measures — Greece’s fourth in three years — is meant to close Greece’s budget deficit, lower its huge debt burden and make its economy more competitive.

It includes a two-year increase in the retirement age from the current average of 65, as well as salary cuts and labour market reforms including cuts to holiday benefits, notice periods and severance pay.

Workers fear this will just make it easier and cheaper for them to be fired at a time when unemployment has already soared to 25% and a five-year recession means there are few job prospects.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of demonstrators continued their protest in Syntagma Square — in the heart of the capital.

The protesters chanted: “People — don’t bow your heads!”

Some in the crowd held giant flags of Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain — four of the eurozone’s most heavily-indebted states.

Riot police — who sealed off the parliament building — fired tear gas towards the protesters when they were attacked by petrol bombs.

Demonstrations are also taking place in other big cities across Greece.

The Greek unions are staging what they described as the “mother of all strikes” — a 48-hour walkout which culminates on Wednesday evening.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama Re-Election Prompts Largest Stock Market Drop in a Year

Stock markets responded to Obama’s re-election by plunging today. The Dow tumbled below 13,000 as the S&P broke 1,400, beating this year’s drop on June 1. All S&P sectors are now mired in the red with financials and energy leading the charge.

“The last time the market plunged as much: literally one year ago, or November 9, 2011. Sadly, it appears that one can’t have their Dow Jones Industrial Average and redistribute it too,” notes Zero Hedge.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


10 Dire Consequences of Obama’s Re-Election Victory

What does an Obama re-election mean for the next four years in America? Now that he’s in his second and last term, of course, Obama no longer needs to restrain his actions according to popularity. He can simply unleash any desirable executive order and rule by decree, bypassing Congress as he has frequently promised to do.

This puts America in a very dangerous situation, given Obama’s well-demonstrated desire to destroy freedom and liberty in America. Remember: Obama is anti health freedom, anti food freedom, anti GMO labeling, anti medical freedom and anti farm freedom. He’s the one who issued an executive order claiming government ownership over all farms and farm equipment, in case you forgot that little fact.

He’s also the guy who just recently issued an executive order merging Homeland Security with local corporate entities to grant the executive branch of government a power monopoly over the nation, bypassing the courts and Congress. You probably haven’t even heard about that one, because he secretly signed it during Hurricane Sandy.

Given Obama’s atrocious track record on freedom during his first four years in the White House, here are my top 10 predictions for the next four (if America even lasts that long before ripping itself apart):

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

America is a Nation That Hates Itself

by Jake Wallis Simons

As the results begin to come in, it becomes possible to get the first hints of how the American election campaigns will be viewed, as a whole, by future generations. Whoever emerges victorious, it is likely that the abiding memory of these febrile months will be the atmosphere of extreme acrimony that dominated the campaign.

The cult Chicago radio programme This American Life devoted an entire programme this week to exploring the startling schism that divides American Democrats from Republicans. “Not only do the two sides disagree on the solutions to the country’s problems,” runs the introduction, “they don’t even agree on what the problems are. It’s two versions of the world in collision.” The stories that follow include a secret Democrat voter in a Republican town who fears for his livelihood and personal relationships if he were to “come out”; a woman who was thrown out of her local hiking club because of her Republican sympathies; a man who refused to share his barbecue with a friend voting Democrat; and the way in which moderates have been elbowed out of the way in New Hampshire as Democrats move more to the Left, and Republicans to the Right. The overall effect of the programme is striking. This is a country divided more starkly than at any time in recent history.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Bill O’Reilly: ‘The White Establishment is Now the Minority’

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly said tonight that if President Barack Obama wins re-election, it’s because the demographics of the country have changed and “it’s not a traditional America anymore.”

“The white establishment is now the minority,” O’Reilly said. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

“The demographics are changing,” he said. “It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

O’Reilly said 50 percent of the voting public are people who “want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it, and he ran on it.”

Twenty years ago, an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney would have trounced Obama, O’Reilly said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Breaking: TSA Plans to Track All Daily Travels to Social Events, Grocery Store or Work

In the future, the agency will want to track all of your daily travels, no matter where you go, according to predictions made by some security experts.

“Air travelers are increasingly subjected to revealing full-body scans or enhanced pat-downs — all in the name of keeping the skies safe,” writes Bill Briggs at NBC News. But apparently, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

“As America prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S., security experts question whether freedom, speed and personal space will one day return to air travel — while still maintaining high standards of safety,” he wrote in August 2011.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

California Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Sentenced to Year in Prison

A California man who was behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in the Middle East has been sentenced to one year in prison for violating probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction.

Fifty-five-year-old Mark Basseley Youssef was immediately sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder after he admitted four of eight alleged violations including obtaining a fraudulent California driver’s license.

Youssef served most of a 21-month prison term in the bank fraud case. Federal authorities wanted Youssef to serve two years for the violations.

None of the violations had to do with the content of “Innocence of Muslims,” a film that depicts Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and a womanizer. The movie sparked violence in Libya and other parts of the Middle East, killing dozens.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Calif. Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Gets Prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California man behind an anti-Muslim film that roiled the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for violating his probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction by lying about his identity.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder immediately sentenced Mark Basseley Youssef after he admitted to four of the eight alleged violations, including obtaining a fraudulent California driver’s license. Prosecutors agreed to drop the other four allegations under an agreement with Youssef’s attorneys, which also included more probation.

None of the violations had to do with the content of “Innocence of Muslims,” a film that depicts Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and womanizer.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale argued Youseff’s lies about his identity have caused harm to others, including the film’s cast and crew. The movie sparked violence in the Middle East, killing dozens.

“They had no idea he was a recently released felon,” Dugdale said Wednesday. “Had they known that, they might have had second thoughts” about being part of the film.

Youssef’s attorney Steven Seiden said his client admits to being the film’s scriptwriter but had no other involvement except what he described as being a “cultural adviser.”

Youssef, 55, was arrested in late September, just weeks after he went into hiding when the deadly violence erupted in the Middle East.

Enraged Muslims had demanded severe punishment for Youssef, with a Pakistani cabinet minister even offering $100,000 to anyone who kills him.

Federal authorities initially sought a two-year sentence for Youssef but settled on a one-year term after negotiating a deal with Youssef’s attorneys. Prosecutors said they wouldn’t pursue new charges against Yousseff — namely making false statements — and would drop the remaining four probation-violation allegations leveled against him. But Youssef was placed on four years’ probation and must be truthful about his identity and his future finances.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Victory Worries the Markets, But Strengthens the Gay Marriage

Mitt Romney concedes defeat. Asian markets are almost immobile. Concern about the “fiscal cliff”: the increase in taxes and the U.S. debt ceilings to be decided at the end of 2012. Same-sex marriage legalized at the polls in Maine and Maryland.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — “For the United States, the best is yet to come”: this was Barack Obama message to his constituents in his victory speech in Chicago. The President of the United States won his second term, conceded by challenger Mitt Romney, but economists are watching the future with concern.

While the news of Obama’s victory spread across the world, the Asian markets show little change: the stick markets in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong remain almost immobile.

Market concerns are focused on the future and on the so-called “fiscal cliff”, the tax cliff that America will face as of January 1st 2013.

At the end of 2012 tax incentives established by the Bush era expire and the Government must increase taxes by 600 billion dollars. At the same time, Obama and Congress-dominated by his opponents-will have to find a solution for the US debt ceilings, which has reached dizzying figures, to avoid automatic cuts to spending.

Despite some positive signs in the past week, U.S. unemployment remains around 8% and it is thought that the future may bring an even harsher recession. The prospects are not encouraging for Asian economies, which rely heavily on export demand from the US and Europe.

On the other hand, Obama’s victory has already led to some cultural changes: at the polls Maine and Maryland also approved marriage between persons of the same sex. So far the gay marriages were recognized in Massachusetts, Iowa, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but the result of a Supreme Court decision. The victory at the polls shows a profound change in the mentality of the US population. This year, Barack Obama became the first President to support this issue, changing the position he had taken in 2008.

According to some exit polls, three-quarters of those who want to vote on gay marriage are supporters of Barack Obama.

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

Obama-Land vs. The USA: The End of a Country, Its People and Liberty

Congress will be rendered completely toothless and non-essential, as Obama has been working to affect since he first took office.

Whether many in the country choose to believe it or not, we are not only now facing an era of almost unbearable hardship but, the removal of any and all of our once-Constitutional liberties and rights as human beings. We are moving from the light back into the darkness of both body and soul. The elimination of the Obama syndicate’s enemies has already been reported as having issued from the lips of co-POTUS Valerie Jarrett. That should begin soon. Obama’s plan to turn the sovereignty of the USA over to the United Nations is already well under way. The UN Small Arms Treaty will be signed by Obama and it will effectively remove and replace the former Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment, while the First Amendment will be replaced with “hate speech” restrictions…punishable by new global laws.

The Obama government’s war on Christianity has been in play since the early months of his ‘presidency’. Soon, Christianity and Judaism will be replaced by Islam—which will be the official ‘religion’ of the USA (see my 18 August 2010 column ‘ObamaGov Establishing Islam as Official USA State Religion?’) and our Constitution will finally and officially become null and void…to be replaced by Shari’a law. ObamaCare will not now—nor ever—be repealed so, the Obama regime’s theft of what was left of our money will continue and his death panels will rise supreme over what’s left of our bodies. The new motto will likely be “If you cannot serve the State the ways in which the State demands, the State must terminate you.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Floats Carbon Tax Day After Election Victory

Less than 24 hours after winning the election, Obama has indicated he plans to further impoverish Americans by imposing carbon taxes.

Obama is selling it as a way to cut the budget deficit, according to Bloomberg.

A tax starting at $20 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates. “Applied to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 baseline, this would halve the fiscal deficit by 2022,” Robins said.

Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, said a carbon tax wouldn’t hurt the economy. In fact, according to Diringer, the tax may free up space for reductions in company taxes that dissuade employment.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Congress has renewed the discredited climate change argument to push legislation.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Wins Re-Election

A demographic tidal wave became a Democratic tidal wave as President Obama won a tight but decisive re-election victory Tuesday with the help of record-breaking support from Hispanic voters, massive turnout from African Americans and continuing enthusiasm from young Americans.

Although Republican nominee Mitt Romney won a larger share of the white vote than any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan scored a landslide re-election victory in 1984, the former Massachusetts governor ended up a loser at the polls because of the racial, ethnic and generational changes that have altered the U.S. electoral landscape.

The portion of nonwhite voters in the electorate has tripled over the last four decades to 27 percent on Tuesday. The Democratic incumbent led among African Americans by 93 percent to 7 percent — the best performance by a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Heavy African American turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Miami changed the dynamic in four battleground states. In key swing states, Romney received just 1 percent of the African American vote in Florida and 3 percent in Ohio and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Latino voters, energized by tough Republican rhetoric on immigration, voted Democratic by 69 percent to 30 percent, tipping the balance of power in a string of states including Nevada, New Mexico and Iowa.

“Gov. Romney’s shift to the right on the issue of immigration during the GOP primary season made it impossible for him to equal the number of Latino votes that George W. Bush received in 2000 and 2004,” said Aaron Kall, director of debate at the University of Michigan. “Efforts by numerous states to curtail early voting and require photo identification seem to have motivated these groups to record turnout numbers.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Victory

by Srdja Trifkovic

The conventional wisdom is simple: when there is an uninspiring incumbent and a lackluster challenger, the people will opt for the incumbent.

The formula is unsatisfactory in this case, however.

Obama was not just any incumbent. He is the embodiment of an anti-America—culturally, spiritually and morally—that is hell-bent on destroying the surviving vestiges of real America.

Romney was not just any challenger. He was a pastiche, an oddly vacuous character whose tenuous appeal to the minds of the regular people was offset by their hearts’ awareness that he was not one of them. It was an awful choice to make: voting for him, or voting for a harmless loser, or not voting at all.

Romney lost because the real America did not trust him to stand up to anti-America. The Republic lost for the same reason the Roman Republic lost the Civil War: it did not have a true champion in the ring.

The scene is deceptively déjà-vu. Some perennial optimists I know have tried to explain Obama’s victory in 2008 as the result of a combination of unique factors, including an unelectable GOP candidate and an equally understandable GWB fatigue.

This time the verdict needs to be harsher. Just over one-half of the voters chose the man who has shown his true colors over the past four years. It is a sure sign of a terminally diseased polity…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic[Return to headlines]

Puerto Rico Wants to Become the 51st State of the US

Voters in Puerto Rico have supported a non-binding referendum to become a full US state.

The measure will require approval from the US Congress, but President Barack Obama has said he will respect the vote.

The island is currently a US territory, which uses the dollar and whose citizens travel on US passports.

But it does not return senators to the US Congress and is represented in Washington by a non-voting delegate.

Almost 80% of the island’s electorate took part in the referendum, the fourth in the past 45 years.

With almost all the votes counted, almost 54% voted to change the island’s relationship with the US.

And in reply to a second question on what future they favoured, nearly two-thirds wanted full statehood.

If Congress grants its approval, Puerto Ricans would have the right to vote in all US elections, but would also have to pay federal taxes, something at present they are excused from.

The island came under US control in 1898 when Spain lost the island at the end of the Spanish-American war.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The End of an Empire

Our Constitutional Republic died a peaceful death on November 6, 2012. Having reached the point of no return in a comatose state after years of progressive and illegal immigration assaults, the fabric of conservative society is now completely unraveled and Uncle Sam’s America is no more.

The United States of America is now relegated to the dust bin of history as a “has been” empire. The Shining City on the Hill, the hope of so many millions since July 4, 1776, no longer exists. What rises from the ashes is a country that few of us will recognize, like, or learn to accept submissively.

After 236 years of existence, a new country emerges today, run by secular progressives who rejected our Constitution, what we stand for, and who we are as a nation. The Supreme Court will be forever altered after its last conservative members will be replaced by the liberal academics who call themselves “progressives.” The rule of law will be implemented by Executive Orders, making Congress irrelevant.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Vatican Paper Asks if U.S. Can Retake World Leadership Role

Obama re-election comes as country faces deep challenges at home

(ANSA) Vatican City, November 7; President Barack Obama’s re-election is a sign that Americans seek continuity, but “the palpable enthusiasm of Obama’s first election is merely a memory,” the Osservatore Romano, the Holy See’s official newspaper, wrote in an editorial in its Wednesday edition.

The paper acknowledged that Obama faced daunting tasks after his 2008 electoral victory, “taking the reins of a country which, with terror, was facing an economic crisis without precedent since 1929”.

“Now the system is more solid, and this is certainly the result of the current administration’s actions. But the labor market still needs to be jump-started and, in the international sphere, the withdrawal from Afghanistan needs to be completed and the so-called Arab Spring needs to be managed and not merely endured”.

The paper also pointed out that the United States must still combat terrorism, deal with the crisis in Syria and Iran as well as find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

In concluding its editorial, the paper asks: “Will a country whose greatest energies are being focused on solving internal domestic problems reaffirm its historic world leadership role; a role which over the past few years has been increasingly eroded?”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Weapons Companies’ Shares Soar After U. S. Election Results

(AGI) New York, Nov. 7 — Weapons companies’ shares soared on Wall Street following President Obama’s re-election in spite of indexes posting losses. The two events are linked to fears among gun collectors that in his second term President Obama will at last seriously address the issue of gun control following the wave of massacres that occurred in America in 2012. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. shares were up 7.7% while Sturm, Ruger & Co.shares rose 5.4%.

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

Europe and the EU

Belgian Stamps to Smell and Taste of Chocolate

The Belgian Post Office that is now called Bpost has unveiled the new stamps that we can look forward to in the coming year. In addition to the usual series bearing the image of King Albert, next year several new materials and technologies will be employed to produce a set of striking novelties

In 2013 Belgium also intends to issue postage stamps that give light in the dark, smell and taste of chocolate and change their aspect depending on the temperature.

Traffic safety stamps will be printed using glow in the dark ink and will reflect light in the dark.

In 2013 Belgium marks the centenary of the Met Office. In recognition of this event Bpost will issue five stamps that use temperature sensitive ink. A layer of ink will disappear at 25° C and an underlying picture will become visible.

Belgian stamps devoted to chocolate will also smell and taste of the Belgian delicacy.

Bpost CEO Johnny Thijs explains that the Post Office is staying abreast of the latest technologies. All stamps also bear the FSC label and are eco-friendly.

A special stamp is also being issued to mark the two decades King Albert has been on the throne.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

E-Books Are Tracking Your Reading Habits

More and more people are reading e-books — most of them on the train or the bus. But few readers realize that e-book providers know more about them than they think.

As André K. sits on the morning train, on his way to work, he’s engrossed in what he’s reading. The 28 year old is reading from his e-book — an electronic bookshelf he can take with him wherever he goes. Thousands of books can be saved to the reader which weighs as much as a thin paperback and is just as big.

“You go in, click on it and you are on the page you last read. Instead of turning pages and searching,” says André.

He also appreciates that e-books allow you to look up words or translate entire passages.

André is part of a growing trend. A University of Hamburg study says one in four Germans own an e-book. In the first six months of this year, Germans bought and downloaded nearly 4.6 million electronic books. That’s as many as for the whole of 2011.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Five Gang Rapes a Week in Belgium

Each and every week on average five gang rapes are reported to the police in Belgium. The figures come from the Interior Ministry. The number of cases of rape too remains at alarming levels in Belgium.

Last year the police recorded 232 gang rapes. Since 2007 there have been around 250 gang rapes a year in Belgium. The figures peaked in 2007 with 293 cases being reported.

The figures revealed to Parliament show that a large number of the suspects are minors. In 2011 25 suspects were minors, while 73 were adults.

In a lion’s share of all cases the victims are women.

Gang rape is often linked to black urban gangs in Brussels, but the figures show a wider problem. Last year a man was convicted in connection with charges relating to five gang rapes. Together with two minors he got a 14-year-old girl drunk and repeatedly raped her.

Last year 3,024 rapes were reported in Belgium. In the years since 2007 an average of 3,000 rapes were reported each and every year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France: Occupy Le Mosque: France’s New Far-Right Nativism

A new group that advocates anti-white racism, the deliberate destruction of French traditions, failed multiculturalism, pointless foreign wars, and a parlous economic future is emerging in France, writes Haydn Rippon from Queensland University of Technology.

Last month, about 70 activists of Generation Identitaire (GI) occupied the site of the unfinished Poitiers Grand Mosque. They unfurled a banner that read, “732 Generation Identitaire”, and asked for a referendum on halting Islam and immigration into France. The action was not without precedent, nor was it without warning. GI launched its two and a half minute “Declaration of War” on YouTube on the 4th of October. The “declaration de guerre” features an array of young faces denouncing the legacy of the French left radicals of 1968. They paint a picture of anti-white racism, the deliberate destruction of French traditions, failed multiculturalism, pointless foreign wars, and a parlous economic future. The narrative is emotionally driven and gives no details of the conflict to be. It can only be assumed the Poitiers occupation was the first act in their war.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany Wins Record Number of Michelin Stars

Germany has increased its tally of top-ranked restaurants in next year’s prestigious Michelin guide, unveiled on Wednesday, and has a record number of eateries with star status.

The three stars bestowed on La Belle Epoque restaurant in the northern town of Lübeck-Travemünde for 2013, gives Germany 10 restaurants in the top Michelin category and is ranked only behind France within Europe.

La Belle Epoque chef Kevin Fehling, 35, wowed Michelin guide authors. “He skilfully combines intelligence and maturity in his blending of flavours, while also adding a distinctly personal touch,” they said.

Germany’s gourmet cuisine is “extraordinarily varied” with those restaurants chosen offering a wide array of styles from traditional to contemporary, Asian to regional, they added.

In total, Germany now counts its highest ever number of restaurants of either one, two or three star status, numbering 255.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Islamophobia Awareness Month Launched in Europe

The Islamophobia Awareness Month will be hosting a series of events aiming to highlight and address issues surrounding anti-Muslim hatred. This event in East London saw the launch of the campaign that included organisations from different religious and political backgrounds.

The event gathered high-profile speakers from the police and universities to members of parliament. Speakers included the British human rights lawyer, Imran Khan, who highlighted, what he believes, is a direct link between the negative portrayals of Islam in the media and hate crimes against Muslims.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Italian MEP Calls Obama Re-Election ‘Bad Omen for World’

Northern League’s Borghezio blasts ‘multiracial America’

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 7 — An Italian member of the European Parliament from the regionalist Northern League party on Wednesday called the re-election of United States President Barack Obama a bad omen. “The re-election of Obama, the symbol of a multi-ethnic America, is not a good omen for the future of the world,” said Mario Borghezio. The MEP, whose party takes a severe stance on immigration, said that “multiracial America” would be under the control of “a weak leader, amid uncertain times against Islamic fundamentalism, as well the encroaching dominance of speculative finance”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Father Stabs Two Children to Death After Separation

Moroccan in critical state after trying to kill himself

(ANSA) — Umbertide, November 7 — A man is in a critical condition in hospital with self-inflicted cuts to his neck after he killed his two children, an eight-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, in the Umbrian town of Umbertide late Tuesday.

Police suspect the motive for the double murder was the fact that the 44-year-old unemployed Moroccan man had recently separated from the mother of the children. They believe he tried to kill himself after the extreme act.

The children were said to have been alone in the mother’s apartment when the father came and attacked them as the woman was at work in a restaurant.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Kite Surfing’ Helps Harness Wind Power

Wind power could work almost anywhere if people turned to high-flying kites rather than relying on just wind turbines. The latest startup to run with that idea wants to harness high-altitude winds through the use of “kite surfing” technology.

Kite surfers typically attach themselves to stunt kites so that they can “leap” high into the air. Berlin-based startup NTS GmbH wants to use similar kites to drive a generator that can convert the kinetic energy from the kites’ motions into electricity — a method that can make even lowland sites that have very little wind at ground level suitable for harnessing wind power.

“The energy yield of a kite far exceeds that of a wind turbine, whose rotor tips turn at a maximum height of 200 meters (656 feet),” said Joachim Montnacher, an engineer at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Germany. “Doubling the wind speed results in eight times the energy.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Northern European Regions the Most Innovative: Study

Northern European regions are in the lead when it comes to innovation in Europe. But there is a considerable diversity in regional innovation performance not only across European countries, but also within the member states, according to the European Commission’s Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012, published today (7 November).

Unsurprisingly, the most innovative regions come from the most innovative countries in Europe.

Within the EU, Sweden confirms its position at the top of the overall ranking in innovation, a key driver of economic growth and jobs. The Scandinavian country is closely followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland, the Regional Innovation Scoreboard shows.

The report has covered 190 regions across the European Union, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland.

The scoreboard has classified European regions into four performance groups. Fourty-one regions belong in the first group of “innovation leaders”, 58 belong to the second group of “innovation followers”, 39 are “moderate innovators” and 52 are in the fourth group of “modest innovators”.

In Germany, 12 out of 16 regions are innovation leaders. In Finland three out of five regions and in Sweden five out of eight regions are innovation leaders.

Only in Denmark, the majority of the regions are innovation followers, and two out of five regions are innovation leaders, including the capital region of Copenhagen and Midtjylland.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

To be a Jew in Denmark

Jew-hatred is no longer an abstract issue, rather an omnipresent nuisance.

It was Marcellus who asserted in the play Hamlet that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” but one does not need the acumen of Shakespeare to discern that things have changed for the worse in the country that was once a symbol of European philo-Semitism.

As a result, the local Jewish community, which for decades could boast of the highest comfort level in Europe in terms of its acceptance, integration and absence of any deep-seated anti-Jewish hostility, now faces important battles on several fronts, not to mention a few extremely serious internal problems. Upon arriving in the center of Copenhagen after an absence of a few years, one can immediately sense the palpable changes in the makeup of the population. Lily-white, blond Denmark has absorbed almost 200,000 Muslim immigrants from south Asia and north Africa over the past two decades and their physical presence is fairly pronounced in the streets of the capital; whether it is women and teenagers with various head-coverings, individuals whose skin color stands out in comparison to the rest of the local population, or the numerous fast-food stands selling shishlik and/or shishkebab. Their arrival and the growing Islamic militancy of segments of this population have led to a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents in a country in which such incidents were practically unthinkable a few years ago. Jewish children are often the object of taunting and harassment by Muslim neighbors and there has been increasingly strident anti-Zionist rhetoric by local Muslim leaders in response to events in the Middle East. Med Ryggen Mod Murren — With our Backs to the Wall — was the name of a day-long conference on anti-Semitism which I was invited to address. It reflects the deep angst among local Jews and supporters of Israel. Held in a hall in Christianborg, the Danish parliament, the program featured presentations on a wide range of topics related to contemporary anti-Semitism worldwide, Israel-bashing and Holocaust denial; but the dominant undercurrent was one of deep concern regarding the local situation.

TWO FORMER Israelis living in Denmark openly expressed their fears. Tziyona, who works as a teacher in Copenhagen, and Elisheva, who lives in Jutland, spoke about their palpable concerns for their safety. The latter, for example, refuses to allow her teenage daughter to wear a Magen David necklace, although she herself does. When I humbly suggested that perhaps the time had come to return “home,” she pointed to her Danish husband as if to say it wouldn’t work…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

UK: Liverpool Care Pathway: Minister Orders Report Into Cash Rewards

A Minister has ordered an internal investigation into the use of payments to hospitals for getting terminally ill patients onto a controversial care “pathway” to death.

Norman Lamb, the care minister, has asked officials at the Department of Health to look into how and why financial rewards are being linked to targets for the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway.

It follows the disclosures in The Daily Telegraph last week that the majority of acute trusts in England have been receiving payments, totalling millions of pounds, for meeting goals linked to their use of the LCP.

Details released under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that three quarters of trusts use the technique, which involves reducing invasive treatment — potentially including food and fluids — given to people in the final days and hours of their lives.

The returns suggest that between £20 million and £30 million has been paid out in the last two to three years to trusts which have hit targets linked to the use of the LCP.

Mr Lamb said that the payments, which are made by local NHS bodies rather than the Government, could well be ensuring people in terrible pain have a better and more dignified death…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Woolly Mammoth ‘Helmut’ Found Near Paris

Archaeologists have uncovered a 100,000-year-old mammoth skeleton in the Paris region, in what experts are calling an “exceptional” discovery.

The mammoth, named Helmut, is 3.4 metres high, would have weighed four to five tonnes, and is thought to have been a contemporary of Neanderthal man.

Archaeologists were originally looking for Gallo-Roman artefacts when they set up a site at Changis-sur-Marne, north-east of Paris, but their attentions were diverted when they came across the giant tusks, Le Figaro reported.

“We very quickly realized, mainly because of the huge tusks, that this was some kind of elephant,” said Grégory Bayle, a scientist at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap).

“And after two weeks, we know that it was an adult animal, aged between 20 and 30 years, and which probably got stuck in a bog.”

Archaeologists also found flints beside the remains, suggesting the animal lived among humans. But experts doubt Helmut was hunted.

It is more likely that once the animal had died, humans took the meat from the carcass for food.

Only three discoveries of entire mammoth skeletons have been made before in France. The first discovery, the “Choulans mammoth”, was made in 1859.

Archaeologists will excavate the rest of the skeleton over the next ten days, when it will be sent to the national natural history museum for further analysis.

“I hope he will end his days in a museum,” Stéphane Péan, a palaeontologist at the natural history museum, told Le Figaro.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


‘We Have Achieved Almost Nothing’ An Insider’s View of EU Efforts in Kosovo

Since 2008, the EU has had thousands of soldiers, judges and prosecutors in Kosovo to help it become a Western-style constitutional democracy. But a German police officer with years of experience there says it is still dominated by corruption, clan loyalties and drugs — with officials just waiting for the high-minded reformers to leave.

The development of a constitutional state in Kosovo is the biggest and most expensive aid mission in the history of the European Union. The so-called EULEX mission, with a staff of roughly 2,500, has cost more than €1 billion ($1.3 billion) since 2008. Nevertheless, a recent report by the European Court of Auditors finds that there have been hardly any successes. It concludes that levels of organized crime and corruption remain high, while the judiciary is inefficient and suffers from too much political influence. A German police officer familiar with conditions in Kosovo for many years confirms the report’s findings based on his own experiences in the country. Owing to laws applying to German civil servants, the officer must remain anonymous.

I compare the development of a police force in Kosovo with that of the Obilic power plant near the capital, Pristina. Since NATO drove the Serbs out of Kosovo in 1999, there have been plans to install a filter at the plant, but it still hasn’t happened. Instead, the plant continues to spew pollution unabated into the air. It’s the same story with the European Union’s efforts to establish a clean political system and a functioning legal system in Kosovo.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Salafists Seize Church Land in Cairo to Hit Back at New Patriarch

The symbolic action is a reprisal against a statement by newly elected Patriarch Tawadros II against having the Sharia included in the new constitution. The incident occurred on Monday night in Shubra al-Kheima, southern Cairo. Bishop Antonius Morcos, who is the spokesman for Patriarch Shenouda III’s successor, heads the diocese.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — “By seizing land that belongs to the Diocese of Shubra al-Kheima, Salafists are sending a warning to the new Coptic patriarch, Tawadros II,” said Rafic Greiche. Speaking to AsiaNews, the clergyman, who is the spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, explained that with such action Muslim extremists want to intimidate Shenouda III’s successor because of his statement against the inclusion of Sharia in Egypt’s future constitution.

On Monday night, about a hundred of Muslim extremists wielding sticks and rods seized land near the S. Mina Church in Shubra al-Kheima, in the centre of Cairo. With police standing idly by, the Islamists occupied the parcel of land for more than a day and put up a sign bearing the words ‘Al-Rahma Mosque’. Only this morning did law enforcement moved in after Church authorities informed the Interior Ministry.

The diocese is headed by Bishop Antonius Morcos, who is Coptic Church media point man as well as new patriarch’s spokesman.

“Such an action is nothing new in Egypt, but this is the first time that extremists directly go after a high-profile Coptic prelate,” Fr Greiche said.

In a statement issued yesterday Patriarch Tawadros II criticised the Islamist stranglehold on the constituent assembly, saying that the Coptic Orthodox Church would oppose any step taken by the constituent assembly to impose Islamic law on the country.

Today, groups of Christian and Muslim activists called on the authorities to arrest the Salafists who carried out the action.

Members of the Maspero Youth Movement and leaders of the Free Egyptian Party appealed to President Morsi to stop such acts, which stir sectarian hatred. (S.C.)

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

Muslim Egyptian Woman Cut Hair of Christian Schoolgirl in Subway

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — 13-year-old Coptic girl Maggie Milad Fazez filed a police complaint in Zaytoun, a suburb of Cairo, against a veiled woman who secretly cut her hair during their journey on the subway. The child said that as she entered the crowded train car she inadvertently pushed the veiled woman to go inside, which led to a verbal exchange between them. The veiled woman told Maggie, who has long hair, “You don’t know what I will do to you.”

When the schoolgirl left the train, she was shocked to find her hair cut off and lying on the collar of her jacket. The incident took place yesterday morning as Maggie was on her way to Zaytoun Preparatory school.

Her Father said that Maggie has abstained from taking food and is suffering psychologically because of this incident.

Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization said that this was the second time in one week that a schoolgirl has had her hair cut off. The first was a girl in first grade at Saray el Koba High School, he said.

Dr. Gabriel asked the Minister of Interior to speedily find this veiled women who is cutting the hair of students and bring her to trial, similar to the veiled school teacher in Luxor who is standing for trial for cutting off the hair of two of her students last month because they did not wear a Hijab.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih[Return to headlines]

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Princess Discovered in Unusual Spot

The tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess has been discovered south of Cairo hidden in bedrock and surrounded by a court of tombs belonging to four high officials.

Dating to 2500 B.C., the structure was built in the second half of the Fifth Dynasty, though archaeologists are puzzled as to why this princess was buried in Abusir South among tombs of non-royal officials. Most members of the Fifth Dynasty’s royal family were buried 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) to the north, in the central part of Abusir or farther south in Saqqara.

(Saqqara holds a vast burial ground for the ancient capital Memphis and is home to the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser.)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Christian Suffering in Syria

The slow agony of Christian communities: the alarm bells being sounded are falling on deaf ears in the international community

In recent days news agencies published the story about the death of the last remaining Christian in the city of Homs, a city that has undergone a religious “clean up” by Islamic rebels. Elias Mansour, 84, a Greek Orthodox Christian, had not wanted to abandon his house in Via Wadi Sayeh because he had to look after his handicapped son. The neighbourhood in which he lived was the scene of violent clashes. An Orthodox priest is looking for his son, whose whereabouts are unknown.

This is just one of many examples of lives torn apart by this “faceless” war, as some have defined it. The extent of the horror experienced in this war is illustrated by the story of one small Christian family which fled to France: Fadi, Myrian and Theresa (all ficticious names). They managed to flee the country and are waiting for their refugee status to be recognised. The French branch of “Aid to the Church in Need” told their story. Fadi and his family were living in Bad Tuma (St. Thomas Door) in Damascus, the main Christian neighbourhood in the capital. Bad Tuma is protected by regular army soldiers but despite this, life is becoming unbearable. “People start queuing outside the bakery at 6 in the morning — they say. Once we went for three whole days without bread.”

Some schools are still open, but parents prefer to keep their children at home for fear of bombings. “In September, a friend of mine went to enrol her daughter in a school in Jaraman, a nearby neighbourhood. A car bomb went off near them and killed them both.”

Islamic rebels are doing all that they can to bring civilian life to a standstill. Fadi said: “Opponents tell schools to close. They want to put an end to normal life. The army is telling people to continue living their life as normal, claiming they are there to protect them. Civilians are caught in the middle and they must obey both if they want to stay alive.”

Another person recounts the following terrible story: “My aunt was a teacher in Homs. She told her pupils to carry on attending school. She wanted life to go on as normal, no matter what. Her husband found her with her throat slit. On the wall, the following message had been written in her blood: “Allah Akbar”.

At the end of mass, the priest advises faithful in Bad Tuma to leave quietly, in small groups. Groups of more than four people have to split up. “Christians feel they are being targeted. On one church wall they wrote: “Christians, it’s your turn”. At the beginning, one of the slogans being shouted out was: ‘the Alawites to the graves and the Christians to Beirut”. Now it is: “Alawites and Christians to the cemeteries”.”

In answer to a question about the forces in the field, Fadi’s response was: “many people still support Bashar al-Assad, even though everyone knows what he is capable of. Otherwise he would have fallen long ago. The opposition has become too violent. One day, a Maronite priest who was a known opponent of the regime, went on TV and called for a speeding up of reforms.”

He received death threats from the opposition for not being tough enough. The opposition is very heterogeneous; it is not united; it gives out contradictory messages. It is not easy to see through it. Some say it is only 10% Syrian and that the rest are foreigners, mercenaries and jihadists.”

Fear is everywhere. Theresa, their little girl could hear the gunshots: Fadi and Myriam told her it was a wedding celebration. But one day she said: “This celebration’s scaring me.” And in the end she knew. Then the kidnappings started: Qatar, which helps Syria’s jihadists by giving them arms and money, has reduced its assistance and now rebels are kidnapping Christians, Alawites and Druzes and asking for ransom money. “Everything is in pieces. All that remains is faith. As is true for the Christians that remain in Syria. We can only hope in God.”

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

South Asia

Dozens Missing as Refugee Boat Sinks in Bay of Bengal

At least 60 people, including Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, have disappeared after a boat bound for Malaysia capsized. The migrants started from Bangladesh sometime on Tuesday, and the boat overturned Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Rasmussen: ‘We Will Not Abandon Afghanistan’

NATO will end its combat mission by the end of 2014 as planned, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told DW. International forces will, however, continue to offer support.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Gorilla Tourism Funds Congolese Rebels

Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken over gorilla tourism in the Virunga National Park. Foreigners who pay for guided tours and park passes are actually funding the insurgency.

Virunga National Park is on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Its lush forests are home to a third of the world’s 786 surviving mountain gorillas. Tourists pay as much as $750 (580 euros) to visit them in their natural habitat. These tours were once offered by official government groups, but rebels have gained control of large parts of this park. They are running their own treks at almost half the price and tourists are continuing to arrive. The rebels are making a tidy profit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Brain Drain: UK is Losing 1,500 Managers a Week in Mass Exodus of Middle-Class Professionals

Britain is facing a growing exodus of middle-class professionals and managers who are leaving the country to work abroad.

The ‘brain drain’ of executives and middle managers means about 1,500 are leaving the country every week.

In total, 75,000 left in 2010 — making them the biggest single group of individuals departing Britain, a Home Office report revealed. They made up more than half of the 149,000 British emigrants last year. Most moved because they had been offered a job overseas and intended to stay for the long term. Business groups said high tax rates were acting as a spur for people to depart the country.

The report said: ‘A large and increasing proportion of British citizens emigrating from the UK are those from professional or managerial occupations and this may have implications for the availability of skills in the UK.’

Two decades earlier, in 1991, this group made up about one in three British departures. Britons leaving the UK are most likely to be going to Australia, followed by the US and Spain. France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand are also popular destinations.

‘These are disturbing figures,’ he said. There is no doubt that the spike in recent years was due in part to high personal tax rates, which the Chancellor is now tackling.’

The report said high house prices in the UK made emigration attractive to homeowners who were also entrepreneurs, because they could sell up and set up small businesses in expatriate communities.

‘The growth in house values in the UK compared to elsewhere in Europe may have enabled British property owners to sell up and live more cheaply abroad, while enjoying a better climate and quality of life. However, this may have changed since the recession, the report said.

The UK has 4.7million expats living overseas, putting it eighth in the world for the number of its citizens living abroad.

Emigration from the UK peaked in 2008 at 427,000 but has dropped to about 350,000 a year since then. Last year around 201,000 leavers were non-British citizens.

The Home Office report also showed that migrants from the Indian sub-continent are much less likely to return home once here than those from any other country. Arrivals from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan were ‘much more likely to stay permanently in the UK’ than migrants from the wealthier Old Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, the report found.

Some 86 per cent of Bangladeshis, 81 per cent of Pakistanis, and 70 per cent of Indian migrants entering the UK on a family visa in 2004 had settled in the UK within five years.

More than four in ten of arrivals from Australia and New Zealand left the UK within two years of arriving.

Many were young people on two-year working visas. Nearly six in ten left within five years..

Two-thirds of those from the US and Canada also returned home within five years.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

European Travel Visa Requirement for Turks Could Soon be Dropped

Germans can travel to Turkey without a visa, however the same doesn’t apply to Turks traveling to Germany. A case being considered by the European Court of Justice could soon open the borders, though.

If her daughter were here, her mother would show her the New Palace in Stuttgart, the mountains and the university.

“My daughter would love Germany,” says Eylem Huber. The 45-year-old childcare worker is sitting in a Turkish restaurant in Stuttgart with her husband and some friends. They are celebrating the Feast of the Sacrifice, the most important religious holiday in Islam, with a meal of lamb, kebabs and stuffed grape leaves. Huber says that she misses her daughter more than ever on holidays. “What kind of a government prohibits a girl from seeing her mother?” she asks.

Eylem and Jörg Huber met five years ago in Mersin, a city in southern Turkey. They married a short time later and moved to Stuttgart. Eylem’s daughter from her first marriage, Leyla, stayed in Mersin to finish school. The Hubers thought that she would be able to visit the family in Germany on a regular basis. But in 2007, when Leyla was 14, the German Embassy in Ankara denied her a visa.

The Hubers sued the German government on behalf of their daughter, initially in the Berlin administrative court and later before the administrative appeals tribunal of Berlin-Brandenburg. The judges on the appeals court decided to bring the case before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This week the judges at the ECJ in Luxembourg will deliberate on Leyla’s petition to be allowed to travel to Germany, and their decision could very well eliminate the visa requirement for all Turkish citizens.

Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his renewed criticism of the visa policies of the European Union countries before visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. And Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Çaglayan has even characterized the practice as a “crime against humanity.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Can Muslim Doctors Refuse to Treat the Opposite Sex?

Not too long ago, the ethics of medicine were pretty straightforward. Inspired by the Hippocratic Oath, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals generally followed the “do no harm” maxim, seeing themselves (ideally) as duty-bound to protect and preserve all human life.

But times have changed. Society has grown increasingly morally pluralistic, while at the same time medical technology has advanced, making the work of medical professionals far more complicated. For example, abortion is now considered a right throughout most of the West, but many physicians conscientiously object to participating in taking the lives of fetuses. Many gay couples use in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy, and sophisticated artificial insemination procedures to have children, while some fertility doctors resist participating for moral reasons. With health care cost-cutting coming strongly to the fore, most mainstream bioethicists want to grant doctors the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment they consider “futile” because it is expensive to merely “extend the time of dying.”

These moral conflicts have sparked an increasingly heated bioethical controversy: Whether—and to what extent—medical professionals have a right of conscience to refuse their services based on religious or moral objections to what the patient desires.

This situation would be dicey enough within the framework of the familiar secular-religious clash, but now it has taken a new twist. With the Muslim population increasing in Western Europe and the United States, that faith’s strict religious requirement to maintain modesty between the sexes has prompted some Muslim medical professionals to ask whether female doctors can refuse to examine or treat any male patients at all—and vice-versa.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Denmark: Concerns of Ethnic Bullying After Housing Board Axes Christmas Tree

An MP has criticised a housing association’s Muslim-majority board for paying 60,000 kroner for an Eid party, but not 7,000 kroner for a Christmas tree

A housing complex in the town of Kokkedal, north of Copenhagen, won’t have its annual Christmas tree this year after its residents’ association voted not to pay the 5,000 to 7,000 kroner the tree costs to buy and light during December.

The decision has become a nationwide scandal after it was revealed the board of Egedalsvænge has a Muslim majority that had three days previously spent 60,000 kroner on a party celebrating the Muslim holiday Eid.

The decision has angered Konservative MP Tom Behnke, who called the move intolerant.

“I think it’s deeply troubling that our integration efforts have failed so badly that Danish traditions are removed and replaced by Muslim traditions the moment there is a Muslim majority,” Behnke told DR News. “People must have the right to celebrate their festivals, but you should also respect the celebrations in the country you have come to.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Gay Cameroonian Wins Asylum in Switzerland

A gay man who fled Cameroon where homosexuality is considered a crime said on Tuesday he has won a tough fight, becoming one of a handful of people to get asylum in Switzerland based on sexual orientation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Gay Parenting Conducive to Child Sexual Abuse

Children raised by same-sex parents reported a 3-12 times higher incidence of sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.

A July 2012 scholarly, peer-reviewed study in the journal, Social Science Research, by Professor Mark Regnerus, of the University of Texas, Austin, found that:

  • Children of lesbian mothers are nearly 12 times as likely to say they were sexually touched by a parent or adult as those raised in intact, biological families.
  • 31% of those raised by lesbian mothers and 25 % raised by homosexual fathers were raped, compared to 8% of those raised in intact, biological families.
  • 90% of children raised in a normative household were heterosexual, whereas 61% raised by a lesbian parent and 71% raised by a homosexual father were not.

Homosexual advocates were furious about this study and as a result launched a withering attack.

It was imperative for them to discredit this study and destroy Professor Regnerus’s credibility.

Consequently, they charged him with scientific and scholarly misconduct, possible falsification of research, and deviating from ethical standards.

Because of the viciousness of these attacks, the University convened a four-person faculty committee and hired an outside expert in “research integrity” to conduct an inquiry.

The Committee concluded that none of the allegations against Professor Regnerus were substantiated, and that there was no scientific misconduct on his part.

[Return to headlines]

Spanish Court Upholds Gay Marriage

Spain’s constitutional court on Tuesday maintained the legal right between the marriage of couples of the same sex, reports the Associated Press. The conservative Popular Party had appealed against the gay marriage law shortly after parliament voted it through in 2005. The law drew wide-spread criticism from the Catholic Church.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Nobel Academy Member ‘Friends With Mo Yan’

The relationship between this year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, Mo Yan, and academy member and translator Göran Malmqvist is much closer than previously believed, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest in the decision.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]