Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121121

Financial Crisis
»Bankitalia Says Economic Crisis Weighing on Italy’s Banks
»Can Hostess Save the Twinkies From the Union?
»Can U.S. Survive Obama’s Doubledown Day?
»Country Can ‘Make it on Its Own, ‘ Says Italian Premier
»Default vs. Delay: Dangerous Euro Zone-IMF Split Persists Over Greek Debt
»Eurogroup Ministers Fail to Get Greek Bail-Out Deal
»Eurozone Finance Ministers Delay Decision on Greece
»Financial Times Deutschland to Fold
»Greece in Limbo After Bail-Out Talks Fail
»Italy: Crisis Has Cost 300,000 Jobs in Italy Since 2010
»A Hurricane of Global Warming Lies
»Feds Open Investigation Into Obama Money
»Is the Toilet Seat Really the Dirtiest Place in the Home?
»Maine’s Mysterious Black Voters
»Now Big Brother is Really Watching You
»Obama’s Benghazi Story Keeps Changing
»Obama’s FBI Uses Media to Smear a Whistleblower
»Pelosi: Obama Most Famous Person ‘In the Whole Galaxy’
»Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. Is Resigning
»Showing Liberty the Door
»Student Expelled for Refusing Spychip
»Texas Congressman Reintroduces Bill to Stop TSA Molestation at Airports
Europe and the EU
»Antwerp: Protesters Chant ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas’
»Britain’s Cameron Risks All With EU Showdown
»European Parliament Approves Judicial Equality Rule
»Europe’s Cosmic Agreement: European Space Agency Takes a Step Into the Future
»Europe’s New Fascists
»French Officials Accuse US of Hacking Sarkozy’s Computers
»Global Smartphone Boom Expected, Report Shows
»Italy: Fornero Ditches Presser Over ‘Psychological Pressure’
»Italy: A Group of MPs Leaves PDL to Form Pro-Monti Movement
»New European Rocket to be Ariane 5 Upgrade
»Sweden: Ekeroth Makes ‘Time Out’ Permanent
»Switzerland: Tax Evaders Become Pariahs for Credit Suisse
»Switzerland: Army Probes Sexual Attack on Recruit
»UK: ‘Thousands’ of Children Sexually Exploited by Gangs
»UK: ‘Bone-Headed’ Ministers Attacked by Tory MPs for Refusing to Act Over SAS Sniper Jailed for Keeping Souvenir Iraq Pistol
»UK: ‘I Hope I’m His Last Victim’: Girl, 16, Punched So Hard by Stranger She Was Knocked Out Cold Speaks of Sickening Ordeal Caught in That Video
»UK: Anger as Sex Abuse Report ‘Turns Blind Eye to Asian Gangs’ Despite Admitting That They Account for a Quarter of All Cases
»UK: Child Sex Exploitation: 16,000 at Risk
»UK: Care Home Kids Were Rented Out to Paedos
»UK: David Cameron Supports Jailed SAS Soldier Sgt Danny Nightingale
»UK: Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour
»UK: Eric Hobsbawm: The Reddest Stain on Red Ed’s Record
»UK: Eight Men Held After Dawn Raid on Suspected Home Counties Paedophile Ring
»UK: Gambling Addict Who Stabbed His Wife to Death in Front of Their Two-Year-Old Son After Running Up Huge Debts is Jailed for Life
»UK: How Facebook and Social Networking Sites Are Used by Child Abuse Gangs to Groom Victims for ‘Sex Parties’
»UK: Muslim Leaders Must Re-Brand Religion for 21st Century Britain
»UK: Man Cut His Sister-in-Law’s Throat Then Left Her Bleeding to Death in Her Children’s Arms Because He Was Envious of His Successful Brother
»UK: Thousands of Children Raped and Abused
»UK: Taxi Driver Tipped Off Burglars Who Raided Empty Homes of His Passengers
»UK: UBS ‘Rogue’ Trader Kweku Adoboli Jailed for Seven Years
»UK: Why as a Muslim and a Mother I Believe It’s So Damaging to Hide From the Truth About Asian Sex Gangs
»UK: Woman Sexually Assualted Outside Bar
»Wales: Yaseen Ali Ege Death: Father ‘Beat Son’, Mother Claims
North Africa
»Tunisia: Niqabs for Teachers Banned, Minister for Women
Israel and the Palestinians
»Amid Gaza Diplomacy, Bomb Blasts Tel Aviv Bus
»Caroline Glick: War Makes Certain Things Clear
»Egypt FM: Israel, Hamas Cease-Fire to Go Into Effect at 9pm
»Explosion on Bus in Israel’s Tel Aviv
»Hamas Left Israel No Choice But to Strike
»Hopeless in Gaza
»If It’s Over Now, Hamas Wins Gaza War
»Iron Dome Rocket Smasher Set to Change Gaza Conflict
»Israeli Police in Manhunt After Tel Aviv Terror Bombing
»Israel’s Scorched Earth Policy in Gaza Could Prove Fatal
»It’s Palestinians Who Have the Right to Defend Themselves
»Rally Held in L.A. Against Israeli Offensive in Gaza
»Stakelbeck on Terror Show: Israel vs. Hamas
»The Three Evil Pillars of the Palestinian Jihadist War Strategy
»Winning the Peace
Middle East
»Bats Harbor New Deadly Respiratory Virus
»Syria: NATO Evaluating Turkish Request for Patriot Missiles
»All Monuments of Lenin to be Removed From Russian Cities
South Asia
»Afghanistan: 3 Killed in Suicide Bombing in Diplomatic Enclave
»Anti-Israel Protests Intensify in Indian-Controlled Kashmir
»India: Leaders Welcome Kasab’s Execution
»India: Kashmir Mute to Kasab’s Hanging, Weary Over Afzal Guru’s Fate
»India Hangs the Only Surviving Mumbai Attacker
»India: Last of 2008 Mumbai Attackers Killed
»Pak Mosque Denies Link With UK-Based Radical Islamist Group Planning Fatwa on Malala
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Congo Rebels Say Plan to “Liberate” Country After Taking Goma
»80 Migrants Picked Up Off Siracusa
»Asylum Abuse Rampant, EU Ministers Say
»Germany: Refugees Still Camping Out in the Berlin Cold
»‘Return Home’: Greek Police Says ‘Goodbye’ To Non-EU Foreigners in 13 Languages
»Spain Will Offer Permanent Residency for Any Foreigners Who Buy Homes
»Sweden: Kids With Foreign Parents Less Healthy: Study
Culture Wars
»British Ruby Conference Cancelled After Diversity Row
»France: Catholic Group to Sue Naked Feminist Protesters
»Obama’s ‘Constituency Groups’ Checklist Offers No Options for Whites or Men
»Razor-Sharp Cheekbones, 6ft 2in Height… And Signed to the Men’s Division at Ford: Meet the Woman Working as a Male Model
»The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality
»Toronto Woman Denied Haircut Files Human Rights Complaint
»UK: Planned Parenthood Tells Teens: “It’s Okay to Swallow”
»UK: Women Bishops: The Anglican Church is Paralysed by Its Conflicting Obsessions of Equality and Consensus
»Alien Life Unlikely Around Dying Stars
»Dwarf Planet Beyond Pluto Lacks Atmosphere
»Free Speech

Financial Crisis

Bankitalia Says Economic Crisis Weighing on Italy’s Banks

Bank profitability hurt by high credit risk, rising tax levels

(ANSA) — Rome, November 19 — The economic crisis has cut deeply into the profits of Italian banks, the country’s central bank warned Monday.

Ignazio Visco said that Italian banks are being hurt by low demand for credit, high levels of risk, and rising taxation.

This adds to the necessity of banks continuing plans for restructuring, he said.

The central bank released a report on the stability of Italian financial services corporations on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Can Hostess Save the Twinkies From the Union?

Taking down the Twinkie. Clogging Wal-Mart parking lots on Black Friday. Messing with a major airport on the day before Thanksgiving.

If unions are trying to be more popular with the American people, they’re doing it wrong.

Americans have gone crazy over the possible loss of Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Ding Dongs, and Hostess CupCakes after the company said it was shutting down because its bakers’ union opted to walk off the job for a strike. People are already asking exorbitant prices on eBay for boxes of the packaged treats.

Hostess and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) have agreed to enter mediation with a bankruptcy judge, who said there are “serious questions as to the logic behind the decision to strike.” More than 18,000 jobs are at stake.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Can U.S. Survive Obama’s Doubledown Day?

Exclusive: Christopher Monckton of Brenchley does the math involving BHO’s debt

Could Barack Obama achieve that rare feat as president — doubling the national debt during his term of office? And can the nation survive Obama’s Doubledown Day?

According to the Treasury, the national debt on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009, was $10,626,877,048,913.08. Yesterday it was up by 54 percent at $16,281,329,916,599.63. And counting.

That is 105 percent of the value of everything the U.S. makes and sells in an entire year. For comparison, the European Union’s anti-bankruptcy treaty says no member state may borrow more than 3 percent of GDP in a year or 60 percent in total.

If 16.3 trillion dollar bills 6.1 inches long were laid end to end, they would stretch all the way to the sun and back well over eight times, or to the moon and back almost 3,300 times.

If Obama continues to borrow at the current rate, his Doubledown Day will occur well before he leaves the White House. The comparatively insignificant spending cuts and tax hikes of the absurdly named “fiscal cliff” would not change the numbers much.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Country Can ‘Make it on Its Own, ‘ Says Italian Premier

Monti tells UAE investors his country’s situation is different

(ANSA) — Abu Dhabi, November 20 — Italian Premier Mario Monti told investors in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday that his country has chose not to ask for financial assistance during the economic crisis because he believes it can “make it on its own”.

Monti is on his first official visit to the UAE to develop economic ties and meet the country’s leadership to discuss bilateral issues.

“Our situation is very different” than that of other countries, Monti said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Default vs. Delay: Dangerous Euro Zone-IMF Split Persists Over Greek Debt

Euro-zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels this week have been unable to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on how to ensure that Greece’s debt load comes down to manageable levels. Germany and other European countries continue to reject a new debt haircut. The standoff could become dangerous.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eurogroup Ministers Fail to Get Greek Bail-Out Deal

(BRUSSELS) — Eurozone finance ministers failed at an emergency meeting Wednesday to strike a deal to unblock bailout funds needed to keep Greece from bankruptcy and said they would try again next week.

The Eurogroup ministers said in a statement at the end of talks that ended in the small hours that no deal had been reached and they would meet again next Monday “for further technical work on some elements of the package”.

The ministers went into the negotiations Tuesday expressing confidence that a deal would be reached to unblock 31.2 billion euros ($40 billion) in aid to Greece and resolve a rift with the IMF over how to get the debt-stricken state’s economy back on track.

But the talks ended nearly 12 hours later with a statement saying only that they “made progress in identifying a consistent package of credible initiatives aimed at making a further substantial contribution to the sustainability of Greek government debt”.

“It was progress but we have to do a little bit more,” International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde told reporters as she left the meeting.

The euro tumbled in Asia in the wake of the failure. The single currency fell to $1.2751 and 104.30 yen after hitting highs of $1.2820 and 105.07 yen before the announcement from Brussels.

A major bone of contention was whether to give Greece, which faces a sixth year in recession, an extra two years until 2022 to arrive at a point where it can raise its own funds.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who presides the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the single currency, had called for that option but Lagarde very publicly disagreed in the run-up to the negotiations in Brussels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eurozone Finance Ministers Delay Decision on Greece

Greece has been told it must wait until next week to find out whether it is to receive the next installment of its bailout money from international lenders. EU finance ministers delayed the decision among complications.

After nearly 12 hours of talks, finance officials meeting in Brussels announced early Wednesday morning that they could not yet reach a final decision to lend an additional 31.5 billion euros (about $40 billion) to the crisis-stricken country. New issues that had arisen in the past two weeks complicated the terms of the financial bailout, they said.

EU President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed confidence that Greece would receive good news next Monday, when the finance ministers are scheduled to reconvene.

“We are very close to a result with really no major stumbling block,” said Juncker, adding that he was, “a little bit disappointed, but I have to admit that the technical issues are of…a complicated nature.”

Greece’s prime minister, Antonis Samaras, expressed his frustration with the delay on Wednesday and called on the finance ministers to “meet the responsibilities they have assumed.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Financial Times Deutschland to Fold

The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, endangering around 350 jobs, the paper announced on its homepage on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece in Limbo After Bail-Out Talks Fail

BRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers will reconvene next week (26 November) after failing to reach a deal on whether to release the next tranche of Greece’s multi-billion euro loan programme. Talks aimed at staving off imminent Greek bankruptcy broke up on Wednesday morning (21 November) after nearly 12 hours of negotiations in Brussels

Although the seventeen ministers in the Eurogroup had been expected to announce the release of €31.5 billion of emergency funds, as well as changes to the country’s ambitious debt reduction timetable, the fine details could not be agreed.

A senior EU official confirmed to EUobserver that “technical problems” meant that ministers would meet after the conclusion of the EU budget summit.

Speaking with reporters outside the European Council, Eurogroup chairman, a bleary eyed Jean Claude Juncker, admitted that he did not know precisely when Greece would receive the funds, but insisted that the Troika composed of the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank faced “no major stumbling blocks.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Crisis Has Cost 300,000 Jobs in Italy Since 2010

Companies hurt by expensive loans, says report

(ANSA) — Rome, November 21 — Since 2010, as many as 450,000 companies have closed in Italy, erasing about 300,000 jobs, business association Confesercenti claimed Wednesday.

It released its findings in a report that claimed as many as 600,000 individuals in Italy are also struggling under “usurious” loan conditions that threaten to bankrupt them.

And high debt levels continue to threaten at least two million Italian citizens, says the report, released by the head of Confesercenti, Marco Venturi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


A Hurricane of Global Warming Lies

If Americans do not wake up they will fall victim to the vast matrix of environmental organizations, government agencies, and the mainstream media.

At his recent press conference, President Obama, in response to a question, said “You know, as you know, Mark, we can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even ten years ago.” That is a flat out lie. The temperature of the Earth has been cooling for at least sixteen years.

The devastation that Hurricane Sandy wrought defies the imagination, particularly for those on the East Coast where so much destruction was inflicted. It mirrored 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and it is only natural for people to believe there has been an increase in hurricanes striking the U.S. homeland, but there hasn’t.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Feds Open Investigation Into Obama Money

Election camp accused of stuffing war chest with illegal donations

Federal investigators confirmed an investigation has been opened into allegations that Barack Obama’s re-election campaign stuffed its war chest with illegal donations.

Jeff Jordan, a supervisory attorney for the Federal Election Commission, wrote in a letter that the complaint had been received and that the Obama campaign will be notified.

“You will be notified as soon as the Federal Election Commission takes final action on your complaint,” he said.

WND reported that details of alleged illegal activity were provided to the federal overseers.

The complaint sent to the FEC in Washington cited the Obama for America campaign and treasurer Martin H. Nesbitt. It is signed by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of, which has been running a series of stories about the controversy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Is the Toilet Seat Really the Dirtiest Place in the Home?

The toilet seat has acquired an unfair reputation as the dirtiest item in the average household. But scientists say there are far filthier places in our house, some of them where we least expect.

Would you chop your vegetables on your toilet seat? I think pretty much all of us would say No. But maybe we should think again.

Dr Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, studies how diseases are transferred through the environment. This involves swabbing household items and measuring how many bacteria — and what sort — develop.

He particularly looks for faecal bacteria such as E.coli and staphylococcus aureus.

His studies have found that on the average toilet seat there are 50 bacteria per square inch.

“It’s one of the cleanest things you’ll run across in terms of micro-organisms,” he says. “It’s our gold standard — there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs.”

We should be more worried about other household items, it seems.

“Usually there are about 200 times more faecal bacteria on the average cutting board than on a toilet seat,” he says.

In the kitchen it doesn’t necessarily get there through actual contact with faeces. It comes via raw meat products or the viscera from inside of the animal, where a lot of the faecal bacteria originate.

Would Gerba be more inclined to chop his vegetables on a toilet seat then?

“It would seem a safer place,” he says. “Not that I would recommend it, but you might treat your cutting board a bit more like you do your toilet seat.”

It’s because we all fear the dirtiness of the toilet seat so much that we regularly clean it, so perhaps this is the course of action we need to take with our chopping boards.

But the filthiest culprit in our homes is the kitchen sponge or cloth.

According to Gerba, there are about 10 million bacteria per square inch on a sponge, and a million on a dishcloth.

In other words, a kitchen sponge is 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, and a dishcloth is 20,000 times dirtier.

This is the same the world over.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Maine’s Mysterious Black Voters

There are endless “anecdotes” from the last election “that prove nothing about vote fraud,” as the critics put it. And one that would be comical, were this not a tragic topic, involve reports of dozens of black voters showing up to cast ballots in small Maine towns. The Portland Press Herald writes:

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is once again alleging possible voting irregularities, this time claiming that groups of unknown black people showed up in some rural towns to vote on Election Day.

[…]”In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on Election Day,” he said.

“Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in (these) towns knows anyone who’s black. How did that happen? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.”

Of course, questioning such things makes you a “racist.” And one liberal commentator (no, I’m not giving him exposure by providing the link) who made this implication mocked Webster and actually suggested that these mysterious black voters’ appearance might just have been a result of Democrat get-out-the-vote efforts. A tenable theory, I suppose. After all, liberals proved beyond a doubt this last election that, in the electoral universe, there is such thing as spontaneous generation. But know that those rural black Maine voters certainly do not exist. I can say this through personal experience.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Now Big Brother is Really Watching You

Frightening system to predict what people will do

In a government-sponsored research project eerily reminiscent of the 2002 film “Minority Report,” the Army’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has partnered with Carnegie-Mellon University to create “an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can watch and predict what a person will likely do in the future.”

In “Minority Report,” a specialized “PreCrime” unit, part of the Washington, D.C. police department, arrests criminals based on the precognition of three psychics. In the near future, DARPA hopes that rather than using psychics, computers will be able to identify and order individuals detained based on their “anomalous behavior.”

Tapping into live surveillance video feeds and using specially programmed software, a new computer system dubbed “Mind’s Eye” will filter surveillance footage to support human operators, and automatically alert them whenever suspicious behavior is recognized.

Darpa wants to deploy this software initially in airports and bus stations, and if the pilot program is successful, the software could be installed at every red light, street corner, and public place in America. It could also capture feeds from video conferencing systems, video emails, and other forms of streaming media.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Benghazi Story Keeps Changing

John Bolton: ‘Administration knows it’s vulnerable’

Last week, former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress he knew immediately that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi was an orchestrated act of terrorism and it was described as such in CIA talking points. But now, new reports suggest that the decision to remove references to al-Qaida and terrorism from those talking points was made by the office of the Director of National Intelligence and agreed to by the CIA and FBI.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said this is just the latest revision of the White House narrative.

“It contradicts what the director of national intelligence, Gen. Clapper himself, testified last week to committees of Congress that he didn’t know who made the last changes,” Bolton told WND’s Greg Corombos. “The very fact this story keep changing shows the administration knows it is vulnerable. They made up this story about the out of control demonstration because of the Muhammad video, and now they’re just trying to find some way to sustain it.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama’s FBI Uses Media to Smear a Whistleblower

In a story headlined, “FBI Agent in Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny,” The Wall Street Journal began the process of trying to smear the courageous and honest FBI agent who started the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. A so-called “shirtless photo” of the FBI agent was said to be evidence of an illicit affair between the agent and a woman in the case, compromising the entire investigation.

The Journal claimed its information came from “officials familiar with the probe.”

What the officials knew but didn’t disclose to the Journal is that the photo was a joke with no sexual connotations and no possible relevance to the investigation of Petraeus and his mistress, Paula Broadwell.

The media had been duped. Liberal and conservative news outlets, ranging from Talking Points Memo to Hot Air, picked up the smear of the agent in the case. Even Fox News ran with the charge.

One far-left website carried the story one step further, alleging that the agent was a secret Tea Party operative: “Shirtless FBI Tea Party Sympathizer Responsible For Petraeus’ Downfall.”

What we were witnessing was the first volley in a media campaign by the Obama Justice Department and FBI officials to play down the serious nature of the national security scandal and the release of classified information likely obtained by America’s adversaries and enemies.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Pelosi: Obama Most Famous Person ‘In the Whole Galaxy’

Said president had to spend billions ‘to set the record straight’

(CNS News) In a discussion on the impact of money on the election, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last week that President Barack Obama may be the most famous person in this galaxy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. Is Resigning

Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who has received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and has been under federal investigation, will resign from Congress on Wednesday.

Aides to House Speaker John A. Boehner said Mr. Jackson sent his office a letter with his intent to resign.

[Return to headlines]

Showing Liberty the Door

Through propaganda, education, disinformation, indoctrination, and imposed ignorance, the political left has succeeded in subverting a segment of the American population sufficient to ensure their political power in perpetuity. With the re-election of closeted communist Barack Obama as President, and nothing save an unmotivated and impotent opposition party feigning efforts to stand up for America’s founding principles, socialists in America essentially have carte blanche vis-Ã -vis advancing their agenda for the foreseeable future.

Although there are those among the electorate who supported Obama who would eagerly vote for a Republican the next time around should things continue on their current dismal course, the problem lies in the fact that the governing class, if you will (including the Republican Party), has become so corrupted that any checks realized after 2016 will probably be too little too late — and this is assuming there is an administration and a Congress who are inclined to implement those checks.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Student Expelled for Refusing Spychip

Objects to school district’s ‘electronic concentration camp’

A student in a Texas school district has been told she is to be expelled for refusing to wear a student ID badge that essentially places her in an “electronic concentration camp.”

“Regimes in the past have always started with the schools, where they develop a compliant citizenry,” John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute said. “They are getting students used to living in a total surveillance state where there will be no privacy, wherever you go and whatever you text or email will be watched by the government. This is where everything is headed.”


“She has become a thorn in their side and has been singled out,” Whitehead said. “The easiest way to solve the problem of a thorn is to remove it. I have been working on these types of cases for over 40 years, and the government either tries to sweep these problems under the rug or remove the person causing the problem.”

He said the case is important, because the district is attempting to show students that they will be punished for exercising their constitutional rights.

He warned that while it may seem like an isolated incident in a single school district, the tracking chips will eventually be implemented across the country.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Texas Congressman Reintroduces Bill to Stop TSA Molestation at Airports

Representative David Simpson, a Republican from Longview, Texas, has successfully filed House Bill 80, also known as the Texas Travel Freedom Act, which would prohibit government agents from touching the private areas of individuals and travelers without probable cause. It would also restrict the TSA from requiring full-body pat downs as a security requirement for travel, as well as prohibit TSA agents from separating minors from their parents during the screening process.

Simpson sponsored a similar bill known as HB 1937 back in 2010, which at that time passed both the Texas House and the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee. But after a U.S. attorney stepped in and threatened to shut down air travel if the bill was passed, it was placed on hold. Texas Governor Rick Perry immediately called the bill into a special session, but it was already too late to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill before the close of the session.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Antwerp: Protesters Chant ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas’

THE HAGUE — Belgian extreme-right and extreme-left activists participated in a demonstration on Sunday afternoon in Antwerp where some participants reportedly called for Jews to be gassed.

Approximately 150 demonstrators gathered outside the Provinciehuis, a concert hall in the Flemish capital, to protest the Israel Defense Forces Orchestra’s performance there, according to the online edition of the Flemish-Jewish magazine Joods Actueel.

Several demonstrators can be heard chanting “Hamas, Hamas, all Jews to the gas” in recordings from the demonstration, which Joods Actueel posted on its news website. They will be filed to police along with an official complaint over hate speech, the paper reported.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

Britain’s Cameron Risks All With EU Showdown

(LONDON) — British Prime Minister David Cameron heads to Brussels this week for a dramatic showdown over the European Union budget that has major implications for his political fate at home.

Cameron’s promise to veto anything less than a freeze in the budget has left him treading a tightrope between an increasingly eurosceptic Britain and his angry counterparts in Europe.

The Conservative leader will gain badly needed domestic political capital ahead of elections in 2015 if he takes a stand like his predecessor Margaret “Iron Lady” Thatcher did in the 1980s.

Conservative rebels voted with the Labour opposition last month to inflict a humiliating defeat on Cameron in a non-binding parliamentary vote calling for him to insist on a cut in the budget.

But he risks fatally weakening Britain’s influence in the EU — his country’s biggest trading partner — if he blocks a deal on the trillion-euro budget as he has threatened.

“He is quite a weak PM because to some extent he is the prisoner of the most eurosceptic members of his party,” Philip Whyte of the pro-EU think tank Centre for European Reform told AFP.

“He wanted Europe to be a non-issue. Now, the Conservative party is an overwhelmingly eurosceptic party.”

The British premier has shuttled around European capitals in recent weeks trying to find allies, but has so far found few supporters for his austerity-driven stance.

With his EU counterparts rapidly tiring of Britain’s demands for special treatment, there were signs on Monday that Cameron was striking a less strident tone.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

European Parliament Approves Judicial Equality Rule

Any verdict in one state to become effective in all EU states

(ANSA) — Strasbourg, November 20 — The EU took one step closer to becoming a United States of Europe Tuesday after the European Parliament voted to enact a rule which calls for all member states to immediately adopt the verdicts issued in civil and commercial cases in any one member state.

Prior to the vote on the so-called “Brussels 1” rule, recognition of a verdict in a civil or commercial case in one country was not automatic in all other member countries.

Instead, under a procedure called “exequatur”, any person from a different EU country who wanted the verdict recognized had to go through a bureaucratic process and spend anywhere between 2,000 to 12,000 euros.

The new rule was approved by a huge majority of the European Parliament, with 567 in favor, 28 opposed and 6 abstentions.

“It’s a small revolution for justice in Europe, which brings us closer to the single-market model of the United States, where every verdict is recognized in all the states of the union,” Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission and the rule’s author, said Tuesday.

Under the new rules, any verdict achieved in any member country is immediately effective in all EU member states.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Europe’s Cosmic Agreement: European Space Agency Takes a Step Into the Future

The European Space Agency has a new budget and member states have also set aside a bitter debate over the future of the Ariane rocket, the program’s commercial workhorse. All sides are happy — and Russia may even benefit from the deal.

Just one week ago, Europe’s space exploration efforts took a significant hit. With several countries in the European Union facing the need to scale back spending in the face of the euro crisis, gathering funding for a proposed landing on the south pole of the moon had proven difficult. And last Friday, with Great Britain, Spain and Italy declining to commit, Germany also backed out. The so-called “Lunar Lander” project came to an end.

On Tuesday night in Naples, however, the European Space Agency (ESA) received a boost. Following difficult minister-level negotiations at the ESA summit, an agreement was reached on the agency’s future, guaranteeing both a further development of the Ariane rocket as well as ongoing European involvement in the International Space Station (ISS). As part of that involvement, ESA is to cooperate with NASA on the construction of the Orion capsule to transport both people and goods to and from the ISS.

The step forward had by no means been assured in the run-up to the meeting. European budgets are overstretched as it is and many worried that the Continent’s space program would suffer. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, however, representatives from the 20 ESA member states passed a budget of €10 billion ($12.8 billion) for the next three years, on par with the budget passed four years ago. ESA General Director Jean-Jacques Dordain called the agreement a “great success.”

In addition to finances, however, the meeting focused on ironing out differences between competing German and French visions for the future of the Ariane rocket, ESA’s reliable workhorse for propelling satellites and other cargo into space.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe’s New Fascists

ONE evening in September 2011, Ali Rahimi, a 27-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was hanging around with friends outside his building in central Athens when more than a dozen Greeks approached. Several men set upon Mr. Rahimi, one with a knife. Panicked, he fled into his apartment and fought back, managing to push the men out the door. He found blood gushing from just above his heart, one of five stab wounds in his back and chest.

Mr. Rahimi survived and is staying put for now. But his friend, Reza Mohammed, who was also injured in the attack, is considering what was once unthinkable: moving back to Afghanistan, which he feels would be safer than Greece.

Greece is the major entry point for Asian and African migrants and asylum seekers headed into Europe; there are about one million of them in the country today, thanks to the failure of successive Greek governments to establish a functioning migration or asylum policy, and a European Union regulation that allows member states to return asylum seekers to the country where they first entered Europe, which is often Greece.

Parts of Athens feel like a war zone. Racist gangs cruise the streets at night in search of victims. Themis Skordeli, a member of the group that is accused of stabbing Mr. Rahimi, ran unsuccessfully for Parliament on the ticket of Golden Dawn, a fascist group that is currently the third most popular party in Greece.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

French Officials Accuse US of Hacking Sarkozy’s Computers

The United States used U.S.-Israeli spy software to hack into the French presidential office earlier this year, the French cyberwarfare agency has concluded, according to the newsmagazine l’Express.

The magazine reported late Tuesday that the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy — including Chief of Staff Xavier Musca — were compromised in May by a computer virus that bears the hallmarks of Flame, which was allegedly created by a U.S.-Israeli team to target Iran’s nuclear program. Anonymous French officials pointed the finger at the United States.

“You can be on very good terms with a ‘friendly’ country and still want to guarantee their unwavering support — especially during a transition period,” an official told the magazine. The alleged spying attack took place a few days before the second round of the French presidential elections, which Sarkozy lost to Francois Hollande, a socialist.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Global Smartphone Boom Expected, Report Shows

Mobile telephony giant Ericsson has claimed the world will see a drastic increase in the use of smartphones over the next six years. And the volume of data traffic looks set to rise at a breathtaking pace.

Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson said the global smartphone business would pick up enormous momentum in the next six years. In the company’s latest Mobility Report released on Wednesday, it argued that future growth rates in the sector would eclipse anything seen so far.

Ericsson said the number of smartphones in use by 2018 would triple to reach around 3.3 billion units. It said in Western Europe and North America practically all mobile phones in use should be smart mini-computers by then, while Africa, Asia and the Middle East every third mobile phone would be a smartphone in six years’ time.

According to the report, some 40 percent of all phones sold globally in the third quarter of this year were smartphones, with the growth of corresponding data traffic exceeding the overall average.

Data traffic was in fact expected to grow at annual rates of 50 percent between 2012 and 2018, the Ericsson study revealed. The report identified online video content as the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 percent of total smartphone traffic and 40 percent of total tablet traffic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Fornero Ditches Presser Over ‘Psychological Pressure’

Italian labor minister blames ‘aggressive’ TV crew

(ANSA) — Rome, November 21 — Labor Minister Elsa Fornero ducked out of a press conference on esbestos in Italy over what she called “heavy psychological pressure” from journalists. “The meeting with press was ruined and hindered by the insistence and aggressiveness of a TV crew,” she said, referring to producers from the satirical news program Le Iene (The Hyenas). Earlier, Fornero had been interviewed by the program regarding allegedly questionable labor conditions for temporary workers at the labor research group ISFOL, which is overseen by the labor ministry. “There was no aggressiveness on our part,” said Le Iene producer Filippo Roma. “It was simply the first time we’ve tried to ask Elsa Fornero about the exploitative conditions for 210 employees at ISFOL, a research body that depends on her own labor ministry”. Health Minister Renato Balduzzi shared his “full solidarity” with Fornero, who had been scheduled to speak at his ministry.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: A Group of MPs Leaves PDL to Form Pro-Monti Movement

‘Free Italy’ seeks more defections from Berlusconi’s party

(ANSA) — Rome, November 21 — A group of five MPs is leaving the People of Freedom (PdL) party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi to set up a new political movement, one of the defectors said Wednesday.

“Our Schettino, who is Berlusconi, has already abandoned us,” said Isabella Bertolini, the leader of the group, referring to Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner who abandoned ship after it went aground in January on a small island off the coast of Tuscany.

“The ship is grounded. It’s time to lower the lifeboats,” Bertolini said, adding that she and four other ex-PdL members are forming a new political movement that seeks to promote the idea of Mario Monti continuing in his role as premier after next spring’s parliamentary elections, despite Monti’s insistence that he will step down. The group will present its new movement, called Free Italy, or Italia Libera, Thursday at 12:45 local time during a press conference.

“The aim is to bring a piece of the PdL into the liberal-democratic debate,” Bertolini said.

“In practice, it’s the [party’s] pro-Monti members who are coming out. We aren’t forcing anyone, but we hope others will join,” Bertolini said.

Defections from Italy’s mainstream political parties are increasing.

Earlier Wednesday two MPs of the Italy of Values (IdV) party founded by former anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro said they were leaving the IdV over differences with Di Pietro.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

New European Rocket to be Ariane 5 Upgrade

The new European space rocket will be an adaptation of the current Ariane 5, as suggested by Germany, rather than a new version, as the French had argued, it was agreed on Wednesday.

The German-backed plan for an Ariane 5 ME will go ahead, with a first flight scheduled for 2017, and as much of its technology as possible will be used in a future Ariane 6, a launcher promoted by France, whose maiden mission would be in 2021-2022, said French Science Minister Genevieve Fioraso.

“We have established a joint document with our German partners, which naturally is extended to our other partners in Ariane,” she told journalists at a budget meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Ekeroth Makes ‘Time Out’ Permanent

Sweden Democrat Kent Ekeroth, who last week said he was taking a “time out” from his role as the party’s justice policy spokesman, announced on Wednesday he would step down permanently, but would keep his seat in the Riksdag.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Tax Evaders Become Pariahs for Credit Suisse

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse wants to clean house and remove all tax evaders from its clientele, bank chairman Urs Rohner said in an interview published on Wednesday.

“It is clear that a business model based on untaxed assets has no future,” Rohner told the Swiss-German daily Tages-Anzeiger when asked about a pending tax deal between Bern and Berlin.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Army Probes Sexual Attack on Recruit

The Swiss Army has launched an investigation following reports that a soldier attempted to rape another recruit at the Thun training base in the canton of Bern.

The sexual attack reportedly took place in a shower room in the barracks in front of witnesses last Thursday night.

The victim, a kitchen soldier in his mid-20s, suffered scratches and bruises all over his body, the Blick newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The alleged attacker, a man in his early 30s, was arrested and questioned on Friday before being released.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Thousands’ of Children Sexually Exploited by Gangs

Thousands of children are sexually abused by gangs and groups in England each year, according to a report.

The Office of Children’s Commissioner study says there were 2,409 victims in the 14 months to October 2011 — but the true number is likely to be far higher. The report also identifies 16,500 children who were at “high risk of sexual exploitation” in 2010-11. However, the government has questioned the methodology of the report, describing parts of it as “hysterical”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Bone-Headed’ Ministers Attacked by Tory MPs for Refusing to Act Over SAS Sniper Jailed for Keeping Souvenir Iraq Pistol

The government has been accused by a Tory of a ‘bone headed’ lack of common sense in failing to intervene in the case of an SAS sniper jailed for possessing a gun given to him in Iraq as a souvenir.

A Cabinet rift is growing over the father-of-two’s fate, after Attorney General Dominic Grieve after he blocked an attempt to review the case.

Last night in a highly-charged Commons debate, Tory MP Julian Brazier urged ministers not to stand in the way of Sgt Nightingale’s appeal.

He said he was looking for ‘common sense’ from the government front bench.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘I Hope I’m His Last Victim’: Girl, 16, Punched So Hard by Stranger She Was Knocked Out Cold Speaks of Sickening Ordeal Caught in That Video

The 16-year-old victim of a brutal street attack said last night that she hoped to be the last victim of the stranger who knocked her unconscious.

The teenage student, who collapsed to the pavement after one powerful punch in Plaistow, east London, explained she wanted the thug to be caught so that he could not injure anybody else.

She said she had ‘no idea’ what was about to happen when he ran up behind her in broad daylight as she walked to college and viciously swung at her.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the teenager said that ‘the next thing she knew’, she was waking up in an ambulance taking her to hospital.

The suspect is described by police as a ‘muscularly built’ black male with a shaven head, and around 6ft tall.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Anger as Sex Abuse Report ‘Turns Blind Eye to Asian Gangs’ Despite Admitting That They Account for a Quarter of All Cases

The author of report into gang sex abuse today hit back at government criticism of her findings that there was no particular problem among Asian groups. The study by deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz came to the controversial conclusion, despite figures in her own report revealing that more than a quarter of perpetrators of gang-based child abuse known to the authorities are Asian.


[Reader comment by MrDorsetboy, Bournemouth on 21 November 2012 at 12:02 pm.]

Another dismal cultural marxist refusing to admit the truth …… these people are unfit for office.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Child Sex Exploitation: 16,000 at Risk

More than 16,000 children are at risk of serious sexual abuse as social networking sites and mobile phone services are used to “groom, bully and pursue” teenagers, an official report warns today.

The Children’s Commissioner says gangs are responsible for raping thousands of teenage girls and that urgent action is needed to curb what is seen as a growing problem.

The report warns that it has been “rare to identify cases of child sexual exploitation where the use of technology has not been a factor”. Pornography is also regularly seen as a factor contributing to abuse, the commissioner says. Senior government sources described the report as “hysterical and half-baked” in an unusual intervention by ministers on such a sensitive subject.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Care Home Kids Were Rented Out to Paedos

PAEDOPHILE staff at a home targeted by Jimmy Savile used to take children out with them for the weekend.

The claim was made in a report so explosive that council insurers ordered it to be pulped.

It supports claims by ex-residents of Bryn Estyn in Wrexham that they were taken out by staff to be sexually assaulted by an abuse ring allegedly involving Savile and other celebrities, plus politicians, police and judges.

Ex-Derbyshire social services chief John Jillings, now 78, compiled the 300-page file in 1996.

The report was ordered to be destroyed after insurers refused to cover councils against possible libel actions from suspects and compensation claims from victims.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: David Cameron Supports Jailed SAS Soldier Sgt Danny Nightingale

David Cameron has thrown his weight behind an SAS sergeant jailed for possessing an illegal firearm, hours after the Government said it could not intervene in the case.

After Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, said on Tuesday that he could not get involved in the case of Sgt Danny Nightingale, No?10 said the Prime Minister had “sympathy” for the soldier. Mr Grieve made his decision after Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, asked him to examine Sgt Nightingale’s case. The soldier is currently serving an 18-month term in a military prison having pleaded guilty to possessing an automatic pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition without permission. Sgt Nightingale’s wife says he has been unfairly treated, and he has been supported by several former senior members of the SAS.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour

by Andrew Gimson

On the morning of Wednesday October 10, 2012, around the time the Prime Minister was addressing the Conservative Party conference, a party of mourners left the chapel at Golders Green crematorium with the words of the “Internationale” ringing in their ears. The Communist anthem sounds more rousing in the original French, so that was the version used. In death as in life, Eric Hobsbawm was proclaiming his loyalty to the cause he had first espoused as a boy in Berlin in the years 1931-33. Hobsbawm got a good send-off. Tributes were paid to him by Roy Foster, Professor of Irish History at Oxford, who knew him from his days at Birkbeck College, London; by Lady Kennedy, a Labour peer, better known as Helena Kennedy QC; and by his son, Andy. The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, attended the service, as did Jon Snow, Simon Schama, Tariq Ali and Jonathan Miller. Recordings of Beethoven’s Archduke Trio and of some jazz were also played.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Eric Hobsbawm: The Reddest Stain on Red Ed’s Record

Earlier this year, the historian and public intellectual, Arthur Attarian, died aged 95. A dedicated anti-communist, he never properly renounced his support for the fascist regimes of pre- and post-war Europe — though he did distance himself from their worst excesses. Despite the controversy surrounding his political beliefs, Attarian’s great historical works were praised by critics on the left as well as by his sympathisers on the right. His funeral, which took place last month, was attended by leading figures from the media, academia and politics. The leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, paid tribute to him as “an extraordinary historian, a man passionate about his politics and a great friend of my family”.

As you may have guessed, almost all of the above is fiction. There never was an academic old fascist called Arthur Attarian. There was, however, an academic old Communist called Eric Hobsbawm. Furthermore, the words fictionally attributed above to David Cameron, fell in reality from the lips of Ed Miliband (in tribute to the old Communist).


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Eight Men Held After Dawn Raid on Suspected Home Counties Paedophile Ring

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A gang of Asian men were arrested during pre-dawn raids yesterday on suspicion of being part of a Home Counties paedophile ring.

The eight suspects were hauled from their homes at around 5am by 100 officers after a three-month investigation into child exploitation.

Police carried out the raids after a teenage girl told them how she had been raped and abused for five years from the age of 12.

Although only one victim has come forward so far, detectives believe the paedophile ring could be responsible for abusing several other girls.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Gambling Addict Who Stabbed His Wife to Death in Front of Their Two-Year-Old Son After Running Up Huge Debts is Jailed for Life

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A gambler who stabbed his wife to death after she challenged him about his habit has been jailed for life.

Sheikh Islam stabbed his wife Rushna Begum, 28, in their council flat in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, while their two-year-old son watched on.

The 36-year-old gambling addict left the child alone in the house with his wife’s dead body before arriving at a relative’s home in tears and asking them to call the police.

He was ordered to serve a minimum term of 14-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to murder at the Old Bailey.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: How Facebook and Social Networking Sites Are Used by Child Abuse Gangs to Groom Victims for ‘Sex Parties’

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Gangs of child abusers use Facebook and other social networking sites to trawl ‘menus’ of potential victims and plan sickening sex parties, a devastating report warns today.

Naive young people are ‘wandering round’ in the ‘thicket’ of the internet, which plays a central role in grooming and planning abuse.

Sue Berelowitz, deputy children’s commissioner for England, claimed groups of men use ‘menus of girls’ and warned that it was ‘rare’ to find abuse cases where technology such as mobile phones and computers were not in some way connected.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Leaders Must Re-Brand Religion for 21st Century Britain

by Trevor Kavanagh

I’VE never met TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright, but she’s always struck me as being refreshingly forthright.

The last of the Two Fat Ladies is in the headlines after making disobliging remarks about Muslims. This is, of course, forbidden, and she is now at the centre of a furore. Her crime, after a tour of the country’s “culinary delights”, was to portray a visit to Leicester as the “most frightening experience of my life”. Considering her hair-raising motorbike adventures with late partner Jennifer Paterson, this might be a slight exaggeration, but Clarissa insists she is not easily frightened. She became lost and “found myself in an area where all the men were wearing Islamic clothing and all the women were wearing burkas. None of the men would talk to me when I tried to find out where I was because I was an English female and they don’t talk to females they don’t know,” she wrote. “If the women could speak English they weren’t about to show it by having a word with me. I have many good acquaintances and even some friends among the Muslim community, yet here I was in a city in the middle of my own country, a complete outcast and pariah.”

Thousands upon thousands of Muslims are, of course, cheerfully and enthusiastically assimilating in British society. Yet, predictably, she has been denounced by the Muslim Council of Britain for smearing all two million co-devotees. I am writing about this incident because it coincides with a row stoked over David Cameron’s choice of Aussie polling guru Lynton Crosby to help him win the next election. Mr Crosby was accused yesterday of an alleged foul-mouthed rant against London’s “******* Muslims”. Aussies are renowned for colourful language but, as I say, criticism of any race or creed, except English Christians, is more or less outlawed.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Man Cut His Sister-in-Law’s Throat Then Left Her Bleeding to Death in Her Children’s Arms Because He Was Envious of His Successful Brother

An unemployed and homeless man beat his sister-in-law with a dumbbell bar and cut her throat leaving her to bleed to death in the arms of her young children — out of shame at his lack of ‘status’ in the community.

Foyez Ahmed, 31, flew into a rage and beat 38-year-old Razu Khan before slashing her throat with a kitchen knife, severing her wind pipe and blood vessels, and fleeing the family home.

He was starting a life sentence in jail today, ordered to serve a minimum 22 year prison term at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to murder.

Bangladeshi Ahmed, who had no job, no money, no home and no prospect of marriage, had tried to ‘calm himself down’ by consulting the Koran, but ‘lost it’ after believing that Mrs Khan had laughed at him.

Three of Mrs Khan’s four children and her 13-year-old niece were upstairs when Ahmed attacked her and were alerted to what had happened by her screams.

Her 13-year-old daughter held her hand as she lay dying on the sofa while her 17-year-old son tried in vain to revive her.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Thousands of Children Raped and Abused

An investigation into child exploitation by gangs and groups in England reveals that rape and abuse of young people is widespread.

At least 2,409 children were raped or abused by gangs or groups in England between August 2010 and October 2011, according to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Its interim report — the most in-depth investigation to date of child exploitation by gangs and groups in England — found a further 16,500 children were at “high risk” of abuse. Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz told Sky News the figures were likely to be an “under-counting”. “Agencies across England are not sufficiently aware of the warning signs and they are not taking action to protect children,” she said. “There are, of course, some who are doing good work on this, but too many are not taking this seriously enough, which means some children are falling through the net. It’s a very, very worrying situation. It’s absolutely not good enough that there are children in need of protection and are not being protected.”

Much of the evidence presented in the report is too harrowing and graphic to be reported here. It comes just months after nine Asian men, who groomed white girls as young as 13 in Rochdale with drink and drugs, were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court. But Ms Berelowitz insisted the scenario of Asian men targeting white girls was “just one of a number of models”, and warned that if investigators concentrate on those patterns, victims could be missed. White men form the largest group of perpetrators in gangs and groups, according to the report.


[JP note: The Times in its leader today is critical of the fact that Ms Berolowitz is ‘strangely reluctant to concede that this crime is also partly a communal problem’. The Times goes on to say that looking away will not encourage the relevant Asian [Muslim Pakistani] communities to take responsibility.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Taxi Driver Tipped Off Burglars Who Raided Empty Homes of His Passengers

A taxi driver who tipped off his criminal pals so they could burgle the empty homes of the people he picked up has been jailed.

Kasid Hussain, 27, told friends on at least 10 separate occasions when the properties belonging to his customers were empty so they could break in and ransack the empty houses.

The Nottingham gang stole thousands of pounds worth of electrical items including TVs, DVD players, games consoles and jewellery before making off in the homeowner’s car.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: UBS ‘Rogue’ Trader Kweku Adoboli Jailed for Seven Years

A rogue City trader who almost brought down the banking giant UBS by recklessly gambling huge sums in secret, off-the-book deals has been jailed for seven years for committing what police describe as the UK’s biggest ever fraud.

Kweku Adoboli, 32, ended up costing UBS more than £1.5bn. At one point the potential liabilities of his illicit trades totalled more than £7bn, a sum described by prosecutors as sufficient to bring down the bank.

A jury at Southwark crown court convicted the Ghanaian-born, British educated former private schoolboy on two counts of fraud, one by a unanimous verdict the other on a majority. He was acquitted on four separate charges of false accounting. The judge, Mr Justice Brian Keith, jailed Adoboli for seven years.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Why as a Muslim and a Mother I Believe It’s So Damaging to Hide From the Truth About Asian Sex Gangs

A bleak, stomach-turning report on child sex abuse by gangs was published yesterday by the Office of the Children’s Commission.

It recounts how, between 2010 and 2011, more than 2,500 children — mostly girls — were groomed, repeatedly violated, sold, beaten and terrorised.

Thousands more remain invisible and unheard. The report concludes that agencies that should have helped them didn’t hear their stories or look after them as they should have.

But, ironically, the report writers, too, try hard to side-step some difficult facts and even warn the rest of us from going where they have chosen not to tread.

As an Asian woman, feminist, mother, Muslim and lifelong anti-racist, I cannot meekly accept Ms Berelowitz’s directive. We need clear and honest figures to show how race and ethnicity are linked to these unspeakable crimes.

After all, we have ethnic details for burglaries, stop-and-search, conviction rates and prison sentencing. Anti-racists base their campaigns on such information.

So why the squeamishness about gang sex exploitation? I think it is because — like a number of police officers and social workers who have been presented with such evidence in the past — the committee in charge of the report are nervous of causing offence to community leaders, of being thought racists.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Woman Sexually Assualted Outside Bar

A woman was sexually assaulted outside Bar 32 in Cumberland Street, Luton, on Saturday (November 17).

The 32 year old stepped outside the bar at 12.30am to use her phone when a man approached her, exposed himself, and then grabbed her inappropriately.

The man was descibed as of Asian appearance, about 22 years old, of slim build and wearing glasses.

Det Con Mike Robinson said: “Anyone out and about in the town should always stay with friends to ensure they remain safe…

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Wales: Yaseen Ali Ege Death: Father ‘Beat Son’, Mother Claims

A mother accused of beating her son to death and setting fire to his body has told her trial at Cardiff Crown Court it was her husband who beat their son.

Sara Ege, 33, denies murdering Yaseen Ali Ege, seven, at their home in Cardiff in July 2010 because he was not learning the Koran quickly enough.

Mrs Ege said her husband Yousuf Ege, 38, had beaten her throughout their marriage as well as their son.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Tunisia: Niqabs for Teachers Banned, Minister for Women

Also opposed to traditional Salafist marriage

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, NOVEMBER 20 — Tunisian primary school teachers must not wear niqabs (Islamic veils) to class, the minister for women, Sihem Badi, told TAP news agency on Tuesday.

“It is inadmissible to allow teachers wearing niqabs to work with small children, who need to see their teacher’s face, a face that will become familiar to them, and whose expressions will help them learn how to communicate,” the minister said. Badi also said she is against traditional common-law marriage, which is contracted through verbal agreement by the two parties. Devoid of any legal value and banned by law, this type of marriage is becoming more frequent among young Salafists in Tunisia.

“We must be uncompromising on this issue, because it threatens the institution of marriage and in the first place, it threatens children, who are born in an illegal framework and are considered illegitimate,” the minister said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Amid Gaza Diplomacy, Bomb Blasts Tel Aviv Bus

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A bomb exploded aboard an Israeli bus near the nation’s military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 27 people, delivering a major blow to diplomatic efforts to forge a truce to end a week of fighting between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers. Thousands of Palestinians fled their homes in Gaza fearing Israeli airstrikes.

Hours after the bus blast, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is shuttling across the region in truce talks, arrived in Cairo and met with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who is mediating between Israel and Hamas to end the fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

The blast, which left the bus charred and its windows blown out, was the first bombing in Tel Aviv since 2006. It appeared aimed at sparking Israeli fears of a return to the violence of the Palestinian uprising last decade, which killed more than 1,000 Israelis in bombings and shooting attacks and left more than 5,000 Palestinians dead as well. Hamas has carried dozens of suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis.

While Hamas did not take responsibility for the attack, it praised the bombing.

[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: War Makes Certain Things Clear

I fail to understand how anyone can side with Hamas against Israel without being Hamas supporters, and therefore by definition supporters of the destruction of Israel. Hamas has never tried to hide its genocidal, Islam-inspired intention to destroy Israel and eradicate the Jewish people. They’ve proudly asserted it.

Here too it is worth noting that an attempt to “avoid escalation,” is actually an attempt to preserve Hamas rule over Gaza. That is, an attempt to “avoid escalation” is pro-Hamas position. And again, any pro-Hamas position is an anti-Israel position because Hamas’s reason for existing is to destroy Israel and eradicate the Jewish people.

Now, for anyone still unconvinced by reality, or so snowed by the bigoted reporting of all the international media outlets that seek to hide reality rather than report on it, here are a couple of revealing videos.

The first one is about a song written to help Israeli children deal with rocket attacks. The second one is Hamas supporters at Hebrew University in Jerusalem running like rats when their pro-Hamas demonstration was interrupted by an air raid siren warning of a Hamas rocket shot at the Jerusalem area…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Egypt FM: Israel, Hamas Cease-Fire to Go Into Effect at 9pm

Kamal Amr makes formal announcement of truce in joint press conference with Clinton in Cairo; Israel will not lift Gaza blockade; PM tells Obama he’s ready to give cease-fire a chance as rockets continue to fall on South.

Egypt announced on Wednesday that a cease-fire had been reached to end. eight days of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, starting at 9 p.m.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“These efforts … have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” Amr said.

Israel has agreed to the truce, but will not lift its blockade of Gaza as part of the deal, according to an Israeli official.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were set to address the media at 8.30 pm. Wednesday night.

Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama on Wednesday he was ready to give a cease-fire with Hamas a chance, his office said in a statement.

“(Netanyahu) spoke a short while ago with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian cease-fire proposal a chance, and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilize the situation and calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary,” an Israeli statement said…

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Explosion on Bus in Israel’s Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — An explosion has occurred on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, the spokesperson for the Tel Aviv police confirmed to Xinhua.

The circumstances of the incident were not clear, and police forces are on their way to the scene. Initial reports suggest dozens were wounded.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Hamas Left Israel No Choice But to Strike

By Michael Oren

CRITICS of Israel’s campaign to defend millions of its citizens from deadly Hamas rocket fire claim that it lacks a clear objective. Israel has bombed Gaza in the past, they argue, and received only rockets in return. Is there any logic, much less an end, to the cycle of violence? Can it lead to negotiations and peace?

Such questions can be answered only by going back to the origin of the campaign that we Israelis now call Operation Pillar of Defense. It did not begin last week, after Hamas fired more than 700 rockets at southern Israel this year; nor did it start four years ago, as Israel acted to stop thousands of terrorist rockets striking its south. It did not even begin in 2005, when Israel uprooted 21 of its Gaza settlements, together with their 9,000 Israeli residents, to advance peace, and received only Hamas terrorism in return. Rather, the operation began on May 14, 1948, the day Arab forces moved to destroy the newly declared state of Israel…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Hopeless in Gaza

by Martin Bright

I have already tweeted my feeling of utter despondency at the situation in Gaza. I feel hopeless, both in the sense of having no hope and in the sense of being useless to help. Compared to the misery of what is happening on the ground my soul-searching is a mere pimple of suffering and I realise that I have no right to lose hope, when hope is what Israelis and Palestinians who want peace must cling to.


[JP note: Mere pimple of suffering? … you would have to be a lesion on the forehead of history not to laugh.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

If It’s Over Now, Hamas Wins Gaza War

Emerges as major diplomatic player, establishes deterrence

TEL AVIV — Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip may have had the unintended consequence of turning Hamas into a player on the international diplomatic scene.

In the grand scheme of things, while both sides sustained losses and experienced some gains, Hamas emerges the victor of this latest conflict.

While Hamas was firing rockets into central Israeli population centers, the group’s politburo chief, Khaled Meshaal, was in Cairo negotiating a cease-fire through Egypt with both U.S. and Israeli officials. This after Israel and the Obama administration previously pledged not to engage in such dialogue with Hamas unless the Islamic group first recognized the Jewish state and renounced violence.

According to Middle East security sources familiar with the particulars of the continued, long-term truce being discussed, the issues that are near agreement include:…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Iron Dome Rocket Smasher Set to Change Gaza Conflict

As violence erupts once more in Israel and the Gaza Strip, new military technology is set to change how future conflicts will play out.

For the first time, a missile-defence system is working effectively. Nicknamed “Iron Dome”, Israel’s missile interceptor uses radar to identify rocket launches, track their trajectory and guide a Mach 2.2 missile to blow them up mid-air.

By noon on 19 November, 877 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to figures from the Israeli Defence Force, which claims to have downed 307 rockets on a dangerous trajectory.

Until 17 November the system had a range of only 15 kilometres but a software upgrade fast-tracked over the weekend extended the range to 75 km, says Ben Goodlad, a defence analyst with IHS Jane’s, the military data publisher based in Coulsdon, UK.

That immediately allowed the system to destroy at least one Iranian-designed Fajr-5 missile headed for Tel Aviv. Although the Fajr-5 can reach Tel Aviv, about 70km away, most rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip are Qassam rockets, with ranges between 3 and 15 km. “They are very easy to produce, made of common day to day materials, but are quite unsophisticated, not guided in any way,” says Goodlad.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israeli Police in Manhunt After Tel Aviv Terror Bombing

JERUSALEM, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — A small bomb exploded on a crowded city bus in Israel’s central city of Tel Aviv Wednesday noon, wounding at least 15, and the police is searching the area for suspects. Four who sustained serious wounds were evacuated to the nearby Ichilov Medical Center, said Eli Bean, CEO of the Magen David Adom Emergency Service.

As roadblocks are set up and forensics probe is also underway, police sources declared the event a terror attack, saying two individuals set the bomb in the center of the vehicle and then fled either on foot or in a vehicle.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel’s Scorched Earth Policy in Gaza Could Prove Fatal

by Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari

The recent Israeli pounding on Gaza reminds us of the brutal Gaza invasion in 2009 that resulted “in between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths (four from friendly fire)”. The human toll and the destruction of the infrastructure in Gaza nearly five years ago still reverberates. The current bombing spate by the Netanyahu government from the air and sea is again turning Gaza into rubble. This, according to the Israeli government, is in response to hundreds of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas from Gaza, that has created fear amongst the Israeli population and claimed three Israeli lives. But this is asymmetric warfare: The death toll in Gaza has already crossed 100, including many women and children.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

It’s Palestinians Who Have the Right to Defend Themselves

The US and Britain stand behind Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. Justice requires a change in the balance of forces on the ground

The way western politicians and media have pontificated about Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, you’d think it was facing an unprovoked attack from a well-armed foreign power. Israel had every “right to defend itself”, Barack Obama declared. “No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” He was echoed by Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, who declared that the Palestinian Islamists of Hamas bore “principal responsibility” for Israel’s bombardment of the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, most western media have echoed Israel’s claim that its assault is in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks; the BBC speaks wearisomely of a conflict of “ancient hatreds”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Rally Held in L.A. Against Israeli Offensive in Gaza

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — A rally was held here Tuesday afternoon to protest Israel’s offensive in Gaza, with calls for ending all U.S. aid to Israel. Lots of police cars were gathered at Los Angeles’ Westwood Federal Building where the rally was held, but police officer Bruce Borihanh of the Los Angeles Police Department told the press there have been no arrests till 7 p.m. local time (0300 GMT Wednesday). The rally was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) and co-sponsored by some other student and community organizations including Students for Justice in Palestine — University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Students for Justice in Palestine — University of Southern California (USC), Palestinian American Women’s Association, and Veterans For Peace.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck on Terror Show: Israel vs. Hamas

On this week’s episode of the Stakelbeck on Terror show, we analyze Israel’s ongoing operation against Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood’s potential role—Hamas, of course, is the Palestinian branch of the MB.

Plus, terrorism expert Sebastian Gorka explains how America is losing the ideological war against Islamists.

Click the link above to watch.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck[Return to headlines]

The Three Evil Pillars of the Palestinian Jihadist War Strategy

Rockets aimed at civilians, sabotage of Israeli computers and manipulation of international law are all critical parts of the interconnected Palestinian attack to liquidate all of Israel in step-by-step fashion.

Israel is currently fighting a three-pronged war in its on-going struggle to protect its citizens from Palestinian terrorists — physical asymmetric warfare, cyberwar and lawfare. Together they constitute the three evil pillars of the Palestinian jihadist war strategy that are a severe threat to Israel’s security.

The most obvious is the unremitting rocket assaults launched from Gaza by Hamas and its jihadist brethren. Before the current hostilities broke out, they had already fired hundreds of rockets against Israeli civilian population centers all during 2012, despite repeated warnings by Israel to stop and letters to the UN Security Council that were repeatedly ignored. Finally, Israel decided that enough was enough. It had to send an unequivocal, forceful message or the daily terror suffered by its citizens would only get worse.


However, Israel is fighting not only against the rockets launched from Gaza. Its computers are being hacked by a group that so bravely calls itself Anonymous, which has declared cyberwar on Israel. It has posted personal data of thousands of Israeli officials online and is trying, so far largely unsuccessfully, to sabotage Israel’s military security systems.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Winning the Peace

It is better to fire than be fired upon. It is better to be thought a criminal, than mourned in Holocaust museums. It is better to lose the peace and win the war.

In our modern age, things no longer exist to perform their function. Washing machines aren’t designed to clean clothes, but to save water and energy. Food isn’t there to be eaten, but not eaten. And armies aren’t there to win wars, but to be moral. And the truly moral army never fights a war. When it must fight a war, then it fights it as proportionately as possible, slowing down when it’s winning so that the enemy has a chance to catch up and inflict a completely proportional number of casualties on them.

Forget charging up a hill. Armies charge up the slippery slope of the moral high ground and they don’t try to capture it from the enemy, because that would be the surest way to lose the moral high ground, instead they claim the moral high ground by refusing to try and capture it, to establish their moral claim to the moral high ground, which they can’t have because they refuse to fight for it.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bats Harbor New Deadly Respiratory Virus

In June, a 60-year-old man checked into a hospital in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, with a mysterious illness. The man, who had acute pneumonia and failing kidneys, eventually died.

Now, the genetic sequencing of the virus behind his death suggests it was a new one, and it came from Asian bats. The findings, which were published Nov. 20 in the journal mBio, may help scientists understand what makes the mysterious virus so deadly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Syria: NATO Evaluating Turkish Request for Patriot Missiles

For deployment along Syria border, for defense only

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, NOVEMBER 21 — NATO is evaluating Turkey’s request for Patriot missiles to be deployed along its Syria border, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a communique on Wednesday. “I received a formal request for Patriot missiles from the Turkish government. The deployment would increase Turkey’s air defense capability, contributing to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO’s southeastern border. It would also be a concrete demonstration of Alliance solidarity,” the communique said.

“The missiles would be deployed solely for defensive purposes and would not be used to ensure a no-fly zone or for offensive operations. NATO will discuss this request immediately. If approved, the deployment would be in line with Alliance defense plans,” Rasmussen went on.

NATO countries with Patriot missiles — Germany, the Netherlands and the US — will have to decide whether or not they can deploy the missiles in Turkey and for how long. A joint inspection team will travel to Turkey next week. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


All Monuments of Lenin to be Removed From Russian Cities

Russian lawmakers believe it is time to remove monuments to the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, from town and city squares across the country.

Memorials to such “a controversial figure” should be re-located in museums or alleys with statues of other historic persons, suggested the author of the initiative, Liberal-Democratic party (LDPR) Deputy Aleksandr Kurdyumov.

The idea of “De-Leninization” was welcomed by some members of the ruling United Russia party, writes Izvestia daily.

According to Kurdyumov, the main argument in favor of the removal of monuments is the high cost of maintenance. He says they would be better looked after and safe from vandalism in museums.

Soviet-legacy statues of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) can still be seen in central squares of almost all Russian towns. There is hardly a single settlement in the country without a street named after the Bolshevik leader.

The time has come to get rid of Lenin’s “stranglehold” and leave only monuments that are considered true masterpieces of art and only in those places where local population want to see them, the LDPR lawmaker insists.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: 3 Killed in Suicide Bombing in Diplomatic Enclave

Security officers inspect the site of a suicide bombing in Afghan capital Kabul on Nov. 21, 2012. At least three people were killed in a suicide bombing in main diplomatic enclave in Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday morning, police said. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Anti-Israel Protests Intensify in Indian-Controlled Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Anti- Israel protests have intensified in Indian-controlled Kashmir with hundreds of students Wednesday staged demonstrations against ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and killings of Palestinians. Students at University of Kashmir in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, suspended the class work and gathered in the campus to express solidarity with the Palestinians. The students including women carrying banners and placards in support of Palestinians were shouting pro-Islamic and anti Israel slogans.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Leaders Welcome Kasab’s Execution

Authorities tried to contact Kasab’s family before burying him on prison grounds

New Delhi: The execution of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab in the early hours of Wednesday by the Maharashtra government has been welcomed by leaders across political parties and survivors of the carnage. On Wednesday morning, at 7.30am IST (Indian Standard Times), Kasab was hanged in the jail premises after which a team of doctors declared him dead. However, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said soon after that despite many attempts made by the Indian government to get in touch with Pakistan over the execution of Kasab, India did not get any positive response. “We attempted to convey to Pakistan about the decision taken on Kasab. We tried to inform Pakistan Foreign Ministry through fax on the decision taken but it was not recognised,” the Union Minister said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Kashmir Mute to Kasab’s Hanging, Weary Over Afzal Guru’s Fate

Known for spontaneous reactions, people and political parties in Kashmir on Wednesday were unusually cautious and mute in reacting to the hanging of the Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Kasab. However, there was weariness over the fate of the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who is on a death row. Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani issued a press statement but gave a miss to Kasab’s hanging. “If SK Shinde still does not know what people of Kashmir want then he has no right to assume the office of Indian home minister,” said Geelani in his reaction to the home minister’s Tuesday’s offer for dialogue. But 82-year-old Geelani avoided any reaction to Kasab’s hanging.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India Hangs the Only Surviving Mumbai Attacker

NEW DELHI — Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that left 166 people dead, was hanged Wednesday in a surprise action that analysts in both India and Pakistan said was unlikely to derail improving ties.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Last of 2008 Mumbai Attackers Killed

India has executed Ajmal Kasab, the only gunman caught alive during 2008’s siege of Mumbai, when terrorists attacked multiple targets including the railway station, a restaurant and hotels, where they also took hostages.

A court sentenced Kasab to death in 2010 after finding him guilty of waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts. He appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming he had not received a fair trial, but, this August, that was denied.

“Today at 7:30 a.m. (0200 GMT) Ajmal Kasab was hanged at Yervada Central Jail in Pune,” Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil announced. “His execution is a fitting tribute to the victims of Mumbai attacks,” Patil added.

On November 5, India’s president had rejected Kasab’s plea for clemency. He was moved from a Mumbai prison to Pune’s Yervada jail two days ago, Patil said.

The city of Pune lies roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Mumbai.

Federal Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi confirmed the execution.

“The government of Pakistan has been informed of the hanging,” Shinde said.

A total of 166 died in the three-day attack on Mumbai by 10 gunmen. Security forces killed nine of the terrorists. India said the attackers arrived by sea from Pakistan, and were trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Pak Mosque Denies Link With UK-Based Radical Islamist Group Planning Fatwa on Malala

London, Nov. 21 (ANI): Islamabad’s Lal Masjid has distanced itself from the radical London preacher Anjem Chaudhry who has announced to issue a fatwa against 15-year-old activist Malala Yousufzai for “turning her back against Islam”. UK-based Chaudhry had earlier announced on his website ‘Sharia4Pakistan’ that he would hold a conference in the mosque premises to issue fatwas on Malala, and former and present top leaders of Pakistan, reports The News. The mosque administration, however, has denied having been in contact with the banned Al-Muhajiroun members, which includes Chaudhry.

“Maulana Abdul Aziz and the whole mosque administration condemn the inflammatory statements used by this group, clearly seeking publicity. We are not aware of any conference in the mosque on 30th November and it’s for the government of Pakistan to take action anyone who enters Pakistan and creates law and order situation,” the Lal Masjid spokesman said.

Chaudhry said that Lal Masjid’s decision not to allow him inside the mosque was “surprising” but he vowed that if refused permission to go inside the mosque he would hold the ‘fatwa conference’ outside the mosque. “We shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to enter a mosque. Mosques are supposed to be open for all. Nobody can dictate who comes to the house of Allah. Our stance remains the same and we have support of students from within the mosque,” said Chaudhry, who has not set foot in Pakistan after leaving the country with his parents at the age of 4 in 1971. (ANI)

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Congo Rebels Say Plan to “Liberate” Country After Taking Goma

(Reuters) — Congolese rebels in control of the eastern town of Goma said on Wednesday they planned to “liberate” the country, by moving to the town of Bukavu and then marching on the capital, Kinshasa, hundreds of kilometers away.

The rebels have previously said they were seeking talks with Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila over the failed implementation of a peace deal that ended a previous rebellion in 2009.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


80 Migrants Picked Up Off Siracusa

Men say from Libya, Egypt

(ANSA) — Siracusa, November 21 — The Italian coast guard on Wednesday rescued 80 North African migrants off the Sicilian city of Siracusa.

The men, aged 15-25, said they were from Libya and Egypt.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Asylum Abuse Rampant, EU Ministers Say

Politicians from Germany and other EU members called on Brussels to revoke visa-free travel to the bloc from Serbia and Macedonia. They say there is no reason for the increase in asylum applications from the Balkans.

Citizens from Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro haven’t needed a visa for trips to the European Union since 2009. That has also applied to passport holders from Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina since 2010. Many of them have used their ability to travel freely in the EU to apply for asylum, according to the European Commission, mainly in Germany, Sweden and Belgium. A large number of the applicants are Roma and Sinti.

Governments in the countries that have seen an increase in asylum application have said this development is not what they intended when they decided to open their borders. German Deputy Interior Minister Ole Schröder said there have been clear abuses of the visa-free travel policy.

“People are not being persecuted against in their home countries,” he said when arriving for a meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday (25.10.2012). “We have an acceptance rate that is practically zero.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Refugees Still Camping Out in the Berlin Cold

Frustrated at their treatment at the hands of the German authorities, a group of asylum seekers is protesting in Berlin. They have now been camping for nearly a month in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Growing up in Kabul, Fahrid Mirsai dreamt about being a pilot. He has fond memories of his childhood, recalling one day when he marched barefoot and alone to a local school to enroll himself.

“In school my teachers were happy and they encouraged me. They told my parents, ‘wow, it’s nice that your son came to school and got registered by himself’,” he told DW as he reminisced in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

23-year-old Mirsai says it was around the time he learned to tell the difference between left from right at school, that his life changed forever.

“The Taliban came and war began. Then all we could see was fighting and killing. Killing human beings and blood and nothing else”, he says.

Two and a half years ago Mirsai decided to board a plane to Germany. He is one of thousands of refugees who have headed to Europe recently due to unrest in northern Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘Return Home’: Greek Police Says ‘Goodbye’ To Non-EU Foreigners in 13 Languages

Greek Police will distribute one and a half million leaflets translated into 13 languages and dialects to foreigners from third countries and inform them about the program ‘return home’. The leaflet has been translated into English, French, Spanish, Albanian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtun and Dari and the cost of the project is mainly covered by the European Return Home Fund.

Greek Police plans several activities to inform the non-EU citizens how to return to their home countries: information stands and vans , distributions of leaflets to municipalities, Foreigners’ Department, migrant organisations, diplomatic missions.

The program was designed by Athens Aliens Directorate in cooperation with the Press Office of Ministry for Public Order & Citizen Protection, in order to increase the returns of non-EU foreigners back home without incurring cost. (

PS Of course, if these foreigners could spare 300,001 euro and invest into real estate , they would most probably were allowed to stay here…

           — Hat tip: Anestos Canelides[Return to headlines]

Spain Will Offer Permanent Residency for Any Foreigners Who Buy Homes

MADRID — Looking for a new place to call home? Spain is hoping to give you a little bit more than a welcome basket of baked goods if you decide to move there. In an attempt to reduce the country’s bloated stock of unsold homes, the government is set to offer permanent residency to any foreigner provided they buy a house or apartment worth more than €160,000 ($200,000).

The plan, unveiled by Trade Ministry secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz Monday and expected to be approved in the coming weeks, would be aimed principally at Chinese and Russian buyers. Spain has more than 700,000 unsold houses following the collapse of its real estate market in 2008 and demand from the recession-hit domestic market is stagnant.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stressed Monday that the plan has not yet been finalized, but added that Spain “needs to sell these homes” and that getting them off the market could help revive the nation’s devastated construction industry.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Kids With Foreign Parents Less Healthy: Study

Children with one or both parents born outside of Sweden have an increased risk of ill health than their peers with Swedish parents, according to a new study from the Mid Sweden University

“Our results strengthen the arguments for an increased awareness on the health of children with a foreign background, as well as girls’ health in general,” said Heidi Carlerby, A PhD student behind the report, in a statement.

The study showed that girls with both parents born outside of Sweden have a 27 percent increased risk of developing symptoms like headaches, stomach pain and depression compared to girls with two Swedish parents.

Boys with a “mixed” background; with one Swedish and one foreign parent, were three times as likely to suffer from bad health than boys with two Swedish parents.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

British Ruby Conference Cancelled After Diversity Row

The British Ruby Conference has been cancelled, after a row started over allegations the speaker roster at the conference is insufficiently diverse.

The row seems to have started with a tweet from Josh Susser, a chap who, among other things, organises the Golden Gate RubyConf.

Susser’s tweet was as follows:

“Nice speaker lineup for @BritRuby. Except for the 100% white guys part.”

The controversy eventually became too much for organisers, who have cancelled the event.

Conference founder Chuck J Hardy wrote in an official statement on behalf of all conference organisers, writing:

“The Ruby community has been battling with issues of race and gender equality. We at Brit Ruby were well aware of this fundamental and important issue. This was one of the reasons why we encouraged everyone to submit a speaker proposal. Sadly, BritRuby was used as the arena to air these issues on Twitter and this has fundamentally destroyed any chance we had of addressing these issues.”

Susser has become the target of some rather testy tweets about his role in the affair, and has responded by pointing followers to this blog post by developer Avdi Grimm, who was shceduled to speak at the event. The post, Susser tweeted, “says most of what I’d want to say for me.”

One paragraph from that post reads:

“The BritRuby organizers decided to invite 15 speakers, and leave 5 more slots open to submissions. I fully believe them when they say that they set out to create a diverse conference. However, I think some implicit bias crept into their selection process.”

Grimm says he cannot discount a co-incidence being behind the homgenous nature of the speaker roster.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

France: Catholic Group to Sue Naked Feminist Protesters

The Catholic institute behind last weekend’s anti-gay marriage demonstrations is to sue a feminist group for a counter-demonstration in which participants dressed as naked nuns.

Catholic group Civitas is suing the group Femen for “sexual exhibitionism” in front of children, as well as protesting illegally and insulting a religious group by mocking their appearance.

The feminist protesters turned up to the march against the proposed marriage for all law wearing only knickers and stockings, and with graffiti criticising the march written on their bodies.

They also fired canisters of tear gas at the marchers.

Some members of the feminist group were attacked and injured by the marchers. Five people have since been arrested in connection to the violence.

Alain Escada, the president of Civitas, said the catholic group would also be suing Femen for spreading a message in a violent manner, organised violence with arms and threatening the freedom to protest of others.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama’s ‘Constituency Groups’ Checklist Offers No Options for Whites or Men

( — Fresh off his reelection, President Barack Obama is asking his supporters to complete a survey that asks the people being polled to check off which “constituency groups” they identify with — there are 22 groups listed but not one for “whites” or “men.”

The post-election survey, distributed through to “take this organization forward,” includes the question, “Which constituency groups do you identify yourself with? Select all that apply.” It then lists 22 groups.

But whites and men are not on the list — women are, as are African Americans, Arab-Americans, Latinos and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).

Other “constituency groups” include “Educators,” “Environmentalists,” “Labor,” “Students,” “People with disabilities,” and “Youth.”

Also as an option: “People of faith,” “Small business owners,” “Seniors,” “Veterans/military families,” and “Young Professionals.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Razor-Sharp Cheekbones, 6ft 2in Height… And Signed to the Men’s Division at Ford: Meet the Woman Working as a Male Model

A female artist has revealed how she has become the first woman to exclusively model menswear.

French-born Casey Legler, 35, who lives in New York City, was signed to the men’s division at the prestigious Ford modelling agency this summer, and is now tipped to walk the catwalk in the next round of Paris shows.

In a candid new interview, she tells Time Magazine how she stumbled into the unlikely career, after posing as a man in a shoot as a favour for a friend.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality

Critics claim that evolutionary biology is, at best, guesswork. The reality is otherwise. Evolutionists have nailed down how an enormous number of previously unexplained phenomena-in anatomy, physiology, embryology, behavior-have evolved. There are still mysteries, however, and one of the most prominent is the origins of homosexuality.

The mystery is simple enough. Its solution, however, has thus far eluded our best scientific minds.

First the mystery.

The sine qua non for any trait to have evolved is for it to correlate positively with reproductive success, or, more precisely, with success in projecting genes relevant to that trait into the future. So, if homosexuality is in any sense a product of evolution-and it clearly is, for reasons to be explained-then genetic factors associated with same-sex preference must enjoy some sort of reproductive advantage. The problem should be obvious: If homosexuals reproduce less than heterosexuals-and they do-then why has natural selection not operated against it?

The paradox of homosexuality is especially pronounced for individuals whose homosexual preference is exclusive; that is, who have no inclination toward heterosexuality. But the mystery persists even for those who are bisexual, since it is mathematically provable that even a tiny difference in reproductive outcome can drive substantial evolutionary change.

J.B.S. Haldane, one of the giants of evolutionary theory, imagined two alternative genes, one initially found in 99.9 percent of a population and the other in just 0.1 percent. He then calculated that if the rare gene had merely a 1-percent advantage (it produced 101 descendants each generation to the abundant gene’s 100), in just 4,000 generations-a mere instant in evolutionary terms-the situation would be reversed, with the formerly rare gene occurring in 99.9 percent of the population’s genetic pool. Such is the power of compound interest, acting via natural selection.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Toronto Woman Denied Haircut Files Human Rights Complaint

‘I want the shop to be cited and forced to give haircuts’

A Toronto barbershop has found itself at the centre of a human rights complaint after its barbers refused to cut a woman’s hair.

Faith McGregor, 35, went to the Terminal Barber Shop on Bay Street, back in June looking for a haircut.

But she was turned away.

The barbers, who are all Muslim, told her their religion didn’t allow them to cut the hair of a woman who is not a member of their family.

McGregor filed a human rights complaint.

Barbara Hall, the head of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, said she isn’t surprised by the action.

She said that as Canada becomes more diverse, rights are coming into conflict.

“No right is absolute,” said Hall. “So no right trumps another.”

At the Muslim Association of Canada, many expressed shock that the complaint is being heard.

“It is in the holy Koran, you are not allowed to cut the hair of a woman,” said Mohammed Hassan. “Only a woman is supposed to cut the hair of another woman.”

But McGregor wants that to change.

“I want the shop to be cited and forced to give haircuts in the fashion they provide [barbershop style] to any woman, or man that asks for one,” she said.

McGregor is also asking that a sign be posted in the front window stating both men and woman will be served.

The case will go to mediation in February.

           — Hat tip: JR[Return to headlines]

UK: Planned Parenthood Tells Teens: “It’s Okay to Swallow”

A picture of a bright-beaked bird looking up with its mouth open wide catches the eye of teens looking for information on Planned Parenthood’s Teen Info page. The text above the bird says, in big letters, “K to swallow.”

The September 1 post refers teens to an “Ask the Experts” Planned Parenthood page, which poses the question: Is it okay if u swallow semen? Planned Parenthood tells the teens:

Whether or not it’s “okay” to swallow semen depends on whether or not you’re okay with it. There’s nothing unhealthy, wrong, or dirty about swallowing semen, as long as you’re comfortable with it.

Immediately after telling the teens it’s okay to swallow semen, it tells them that “unprotected oral sex” can put both partners at risk for a number of STDs. Teens are then advised to have “safer oral sex” by using a condom or dental dam.

Planned Parenthood boasts of reaching 22 million visitors annually with the perverse, dangerous messages on its websites. It brags that it reached 1.1 million adolescents and parents “with information and education to help them make informed decisions and stay safe.” In addition, it claims 300,000 followers on Facebook. It also claims it has added “a million activists” through its social media presence.

Planned Parenthood—the organization that gives this kind of conflicting and perilous advice to teens on such a huge scale—is being paid more than one-fourth of the $75 million in PREP funding (Personal Responsibility Education Program) set aside by Obamacare to implement the Teen Outreach Program across five states at 50 schools. In addition, it gets $1.3 million in government funding each and every day via government grants and programs.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Women Bishops: The Anglican Church is Paralysed by Its Conflicting Obsessions of Equality and Consensus

by Tim Stanley

Wow — we truly live in an age of miracles. The Church of England just voted in favour of tradition. To be precise, its Synod failed to garner the necessary two thirds majority to allow for women bishops. A majority did want change, just not a large enough one — and most of the opposition seems to have come from the laity rather than the clergy.


The language of the Synod was sometimes bizarre [and quotes are from Paul Owen’s excellent live blog]. For the motion, Canon Dagmar Winter of Newcastle quoted Leonard Cohen (“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”) and Barack Obama (“Yes we can”). Christina Rees of St Albans provided “the parable of Indiana Jones,” reminding us of when Indy comes to a chasm and has to walk across. He steps out into the void and discovers an invisible bridge beneath his feet (“he had to take that step in faith”). Thomas Seville of York disagreed with the parable because at the end of the movie, all the beautiful grails that Indy was seeking get destroyed. In one hundred years, the Anglican Church has gone from discussing how many angels fit on the head of a pin to how Harrison Ford can best reach the Holy Grail. It is not much of an advancement.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Alien Life Unlikely Around Dying Stars

Life is unlikely to survive on exoplanets that orbit cooling stars such as white dwarfs, a new study suggests.

These stars’ shifting habitable zones — the range of distances where liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it, could exist — would make it difficult for any life-forms to stick around for the long haul, researchers said.

“These planets, if we find them today in a current habitable zone, previously had to have gone through a phase which sterilized them forever,” study lead author Rory Barnes, of the University of Washington, said in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Dwarf Planet Beyond Pluto Lacks Atmosphere

Distant starlight has given astronomers the best look yet at a distant icy sibling of Pluto, a dwarf planet called Makemake that appears to be missing its atmosphere, researchers say.

Although this icy world currently lacks an atmosphere, there is still a chance it could form one like a comet when it approaches the point in its orbit that is closest to the sun, scientists added.

In the past decade, astronomers have discovered a slew of “dwarf planets” that dwell with Pluto beyond the orbit of Neptune. Makemake was a world nicknamed “Easterbunny” by its discoverers before officially getting named after the Polynesian creator of humanity and the god of fertility.

In 2011, Makemake passed directly in front of the distant star NOMAD 1181-0235723. This eclipse or occultation helped backlight the icy world, and researchers now reveal data from seven telescopes of this eclipse has helped them pin down Makemake’s size, shape and surface properties better than ever.

“For me it is extremely remarkable that we can get an accurate knowledge of important properties of these mysterious dwarf planets even though they are so far away from the Earth,” said lead study author Jose Ortiz, a planetary scientist at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucía in Granada, Spain. “Only three years ago we had never observed a single occultation by a trans-Neptunian object, and now we have managed to observe 12 such events, nine of them by our international team.”

Such occultations are extremely difficult to predict and observe. For comparison, these worlds are so distant they appear about the same size “as that of a coin seen at a distance of 30 miles (50 kilometers) or smaller,” Ortiz told “But thanks to our hard work and to an important international collaboration, we were able to beat all the difficulties.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Free Speech

by Roger Scruton

The freedom to entertain and express opinions, however offensive to others, has been regarded since Locke as the sine qua non of a free society. This freedom was enshrined in the American Constitution, defended in the face of the Victorian moralists by John Stuart Mill, and upheld in our time by the dissidents under communist and fascist dictatorships. So much of a shibboleth has it become, that journalists barely distinguish free speech from democracy, and regard both as the default positions of humanity — the positions to which we return, if all oppressive powers are removed from us. It seems not to occur to people now that orthodoxy, conformity and the hounding of the dissident define the default position of mankind, or that there is no reason to think that democracies are any different in this respect from Islamic theocracies or one party totalitarian states.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]