Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Catholic Cardinal Calls for End to Blasphemy Laws.(Frontpage).
Speaking at a conference in Milan, Italy, on May 8, 2013, that city’s archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, called for the abolition of blasphemy laws worldwide. Such a step would significantly help protect globally the freedom of speech and religion desperately needed by Christians in particular while countering Islamic fanaticism with freedom.Once favored to become pope, Scola made his remarks at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart for the opening of a conference focusing on Roman Emperor Constantine’s 313 Edict of Milan granting imperial toleration to Christianity. Scola advocated a “healthy secularism” allowing religious freedom, defined by him as a “true litmus test” for a civilized society. To Scola, this “freedom means above all encouraging religious pluralism and opening to all forms of religious expression,” including “eliminating laws that criminally punish blasphemy.”
As the Catholic cable television channel EWTN reported online, the role of blasphemy laws in Muslim-majority countries in persecuting Christians and other religious minorities formed the global context of Scola’s remarks. As reviewed previously by this writer, the authors of Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians have extensively documented that “Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today,” a “terrible trend…on the upswing.” Moreover, “it is in the Muslim world where persecution of Christians is now most widespread, intense, and, ominously, increasing.” Abolition of Muslim blasphemy laws, often used to prohibit propagation of Christian beliefs contradicting Muslim doctrine, would eliminate one important instrument of Islamic repression.
Such religious freedom would protect not just private rights, but also public peace. “Religious freedom,” notes Scola’s fellow Catholic, Professor Thomas F. Farr of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, “the evidence shows, can be an antidote to religion-related extremism, including terrorism.” Freedom, analyzes Farr, dilutes fanaticism by forcing various faiths to justify their claims intellectually without coercion in a marketplace of ideas. “What if,” speculates Farr,
Osama Bin Laden had been raised in a Saudi Arabia that allowed for religious freedom? What if, instead of being steeped exclusively in the toxic teachings of Wahhabism and Sayyid Qutb, he had been exposed to other forms of Islam, to critics of Islam, to other forms of religious belief, and to liberal religion-based arguments about justice and the common good?
Christians like Scola and Farr have a perfectly sound theological basis for faith-based advocacy of religious freedom. As the prominent Protestant pastor and theologian John Piper has written, numerous Biblical verses relate that “Christ did his work by being insulted” in stark contrast to Islam in which the “work of Muhammad is based on being honored.”Hmmm.......Obama 'The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet.'Read the full story here.
Obama's BFF the Islamist government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland.
Obama's BFF the Islamist government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland.(ClarionProject).by: Ryan Mauro.
The Islamist government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 in a ceremony that was attended by the leaders of two groups linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.Also present was the Maryland Secretary of State, representing Maryland Governor and likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, Martin O’Malley.
The mega-mosque is called the Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center and, according to the Muslim Link, it “will likely become the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the western hemisphere” when it is finished in 2014. The Muslim Link explicitly says it is “a project of the government of Turkey.”
On May 15, Prime Minister Erdogan spoke to hundreds of people at the construction site and said he’d come back for the opening ceremony next year. He warned the audience that there are groups promoting “Islamophobia,” branding potential critics as paranoid bigots. Erdogan recently said that “Islamophobia” and Zionism are equivalent to fascism and anti-Semitism, saying they are a “crime against humanity.”
On the same trip to the U.S., Erdogan brought a special guest: The father of one of the Islamists killed in Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish flotilla that tried to break Israel’s legal blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Erdogan reportedly wanted to him to meet President Obama.
The site will have five buildings, including a mosque “constructed using 16th century Ottoman architecture that can hold 750 worshipers.” The site’s design reinforces concerns that Turkey wants to restore its glory days as the Ottoman Empire.
The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
The first, Naeem Baig, is the president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo, which says its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” lists ICNA as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” It even refers to meetings with ICNA with talk about a merger.
ICNA is linked to the Pakistani Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami and its conferences feature radical speakers. A former ICNA president was recently indicted for horrific war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 succession from Pakistan – the torture and murder or 18 political opponents.
The second official from a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that attended the event was Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA and several of its components are listed as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the same 1991 Brotherhood memo. ISNA was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, dubbed the largest Islamic terror-funding trial in the history of the U.S. Federal prosecutors in the case also listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
The Turkish government has been quietly spreading its influence in the U.S., but this is the most blatant example. In October, The Clarion Project reported on the growing ties between the Turkish government and Native American tribes. With Congress' help, thousands of Turkish contractors and their families may be flooding into America's heartland and settling in semi-autonomous zones of the Native Americans, well out of the reach of American authorities.
In November, The Clarion Project reported on the Turkish Fethullah Gulen school network in America, which is currently under FBI investigation. The network is the largest charter school network in America. It is the same network that has been a critical component in Turkey’s regression from a secular democracy into an Islamic state.
Islamist-Watch.org‘s director Marc Fink has said that the Erdogan’s AKP party is “often associated with Turkish neo-Ottomanism – the desire to re-establish the Caliphate and unify the Middle East – and later the world – under Turkish Islamist rule and hegemony.”
Erdogan and his Islamist government calls Israel a “terrorist state” but calls Hamas a “resistance” group. Not surprisingly, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is a big admirer of Erdogan.
Since taking office in 2003, Erdogan has been implementing his Islamist agenda, slowly but steadily changing Turkey from a secular democracy to an Islamist state. College admissions have been changed to favor religious students, the military has been gutted of its secular generals (with one in five generals currently in prison on dubious charges) and women have been routed out of top government jobs.Honor killings in Turkey increased 1,400 percent between 2002 and 2009. Persecution of artists and journalists has become commonplace as opponents are charged with vague crimes like “denigrating Islam” and “denigrading the state.”
The Turkish American Culture and Civilization Project will be the largest Islamic site in the Western Hemisphere. At the same time, Turkey is building a new mega-mosque in Istanbul with the tallest minarets in the world.
The construction project in Maryland is about more than a mega-mosque. It’s symbol of how Turkey aspires to lead the Islamic ummah, including the American Muslim community.Hmmmm.....“Thank God Almighty,” said Mr. Erdogan in 1994, when he was the mayor of Istanbul. “I am a servant of Shariah.”Read the full story here.
"The Food stamp Presidency" A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps.HT: Heritage.By Amy Payne.
Where do food stamps come from?They come from taxpayers—certainly not from family farms. Yet the “farm” bill, a recurring subsidy-fest in Congress, is actually 80 percent food stamps and other government nutrition programs.
The food stamps sweeten the farm deal for lawmakers, who admit that the combination works for their political purposes. As Heritage experts Daren Bakst and Diane Katz explain:
The food stamp portion creates a reason for urban representatives to support farm subsidies, and for farm-state lawmakers to support food stamps.Food stamps are there to help “get the farm bill passed.” And the relation of the rest of the farm bill to farming is also questionable. Bakst and Katz note that “Congress has expanded the farm bill over time into a costly compilation of disparate programs. Along with agriculture and food stamps, the legislation includes dozens of forestry, conservation, energy, and rural development programs.”
Talk of de-politicizing agriculture programs and welfare policy is met with stiff resistance. For example, Senator Thad Cochran (R–MS), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently told the North American Agricultural Journalists group that food stamps should continue to be included in the farm bill “purely from a political perspective. It helps get the farm bill passed.”
It has become the norm that Congress lumps billions—even trillions—of dollars in taxpayer-funded programs together into huge bills. This allows them to sneak in plenty of special-interest pork.
Each of these programs deserves to be evaluated on its own, and taxpayers deserve transparency from Congress about how it plans to spend our money.
For example, food stamps are a massive program that needs a careful look. Food stamp spending has doubled under the Obama Administration, and participation is at historic highs. Recruiters hold bingo games and other “parties” to try to get more people on the food stamp rolls.Food stamps and farming ultimately have to do with food, but that’s about all they have in common. Making the farm bill 80 percent food stamps just doesn’t make sense.Hmmmm......Cloward - Piven Strategy.Read the full story here.
Will the Hajj pilgrimage unleash the MERS, 'Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus' on the world?
Will the Hajj pilgrimage unleash the MERS, 'Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus' on the world?(OttowaCitizen).
The World Health Organization has issued a blunt assessment of the coronavirus outbreak in Saudi Arabia, acknowledging for the first time that there are concerns the virus may be spreading from person to person, at least in a limited way.The statement called for urgent investigations to find the source of the virus and learn how it is infecting people. And it reminded countries they have a duty to the international community to rapidly report cases and related information to the WHO.
The worrying appraisal of the situation was echoed in a revised risk assessment issued Friday by the European Centre for Disease Control. It warned hospitals in Europe to be on the lookout for coronavirus cases coming in by air ambulance, saying the numbers of such patients may rise if the public in affected countries are afraid to seek care in their own hospitals.
The warnings come as health leaders from around the world are gathering in Geneva for the World Health Assembly, the annual general meeting of the WHO. The eight-day meeting begins Monday. Though other nations have not publicly pressed leaders of coronavirus-affected countries for more transparency to date, it is likely that concerns about the virus and the opaque way investigations into it are being handled will be aired during the meeting.
“There is no formal agenda for novel coronavirus but I would be surprised if it didn’t come up,” WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said in an interview.
Saudi Arabia, after all, is the home of Mecca. The holy site draws roughly three million Muslims from around the world every year to the Hajj, a mass pilgrimage Muslims are meant to perform at least once in their lifetimes.
As well, nearly one million international tourists travel to Mecca during Ramadan — the Muslim month of fasting — to take part in another pilgrimage called Umrah. Ramadan starts in the second week of July this year. And the 2013 Hajj will take place in mid-October, only five months from now.
Experts watching the coronavirus situation are already worried about the potential for spread of the new virus, both within Saudi Arabia and internationally. “I don’t think anyone necessarily knows for certain what is or isn’t happening,” said Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious diseases specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
In his research, Khan tracks global travel patterns as a tool to predict and interpret spread of diseases. “I’m not sure that there’s an easy way to get at this information unless it’s more forthcoming from within Saudi Arabia or any of the partners that are working with Saudi Arabia inside the country.”
To date, the WHO has been notified of 41 confirmed infections with the virus, which has been recently named MERS, for Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
Of those cases, 20 have been fatal. The bulk of the infections have occurred in Saudi Arabia, which is investigating a large and ongoing outbreak in the eastern part of the country, near the Persian Gulf.
The most recent case — an 81-year-old woman whose illness was announced Saturday — is part of that outbreak. In its statement, the WHO said two of the cases in that outbreak have no links to either other coronavirus patients or a hospital where some transmission is known to have occurred. These unconnected cases suggest two possibilities. They could have contracted the virus from its as-yet unidentified reservoir, which is thought to be one or more animal species. Or these cases could be a signal that undetected human transmission is happening there. “The continued appearance of cases that are not part of larger clusters, and who do not have a history of animal contact, increases concerns about possible community transmission. This possibility is being investigated by authorities in Saudi Arabia,” the WHO statement said.Hmmm.......Start wearing a mask at airports and on planes. Read the full story here.
Amina Tyler, Tunisia’s femen ‘topless jihad’ activist, caught and under arrest.(AA).After months of reportedly going into hiding, the outspoken Tunisian feminist who sparked a trend of “topless jihad” has been found and arrested by Tunisian authorities earlier this week and may be charged for conducting “provocative acts.”
Amina Tyler, 19, was found in the midst of police scuffles with hardline Salafist group Ansar al-Shariah in the central Tunisian city of Kairouan on Sunday.
Tyler previously described herself as a member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, which uses nudity in protests.
Witnesses said she allegedly scrawled “Femen” on the wall near the main mosque and may have intended to hang a banner on the building before an angry crowd gathered and started shouting at her to leave, according to The Associated Press.
Video posted by the Tunisian online Nawaat news site shows Tyler, with dyed blonde hair, clutching a banner and being hustled away by police and put into a van as residents chased her.
A local resident shouts at the camera: “She is dishonoring us. We will protect our town, but a dirty girl like her shouldn’t come among us.”
Mohammed Ali Aroui, the spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry, described her acts as provocative and said she was under investigation and may be charged for her behavior on Sunday. He added that he understood the angry reaction of local residents to her appearance.
The ministry had banned Ansar al-Shariah’s annual conference, citing it as a threat to security and public order, and sent 11,000 soldiers and police to prevent hardline Muslims, known as salafis, from entering Kairouan.
In March, Tyler posted pictures of her topless body with the phrase “my body is my own” scrawled on it, and she went into hiding after receiving death threats. Her family took her to stay with relatives outside the capital before she escaped and hid with friends.
A month later, Tyler had been trying to leave Tunisia, her former lawyer said after a video surfaced in which the woman recounted being drugged and given virginity tests by relatives.Hmmm......Can't wait to see 'Titslamists to the rescue."Read the full story here.
Turkish IHH : 'No withdrawal' of Mavi Marmara cases.(HD).The head of the Turkish NGO Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) said yesterday that it would "never give up" on the Mavi Marmara cases, the cases opened against Israeli soldiers accused of killing nine people in a raid on Turkish flotilla Mavi Marmara in 2010.
“Israeli soldiers think we will abandon these cases, but our decision is to complete this process in any case, make courts issue an arrest warrant for the Israeli soldiers and judge the Israeli authorities who are responsible for this incident. We will never give up on these cases,” Bülent Yıldırım told a crowd in front of an Istanbul court before the fifth trial of the case.
Former Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi, former Navy Chief Eliezer Marom, former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former Air Force Intelligence Chief Avishai Levy are the Israelis being tried in absentia. The 144-page indictment is seeking multiple life sentences totaling over 18,000 years for each of the defendants. Turkey and Israel have come “close” to reaching a deal on compensation for victims of the raid after talks in Jerusalem earlier this month. It is still not clear whether the cases will be dropped eventually. Yıldırım also said any normalization with Israel would mean treason to the Palestinian cause. Hmmmm.....Tell me again why Netanyahu had to apologize to these 'people'?Read the full story here.
US smuggling weapons to Syrian rebels: The real Benghazi story.(AsianTribune).By Daya Gamage.
There is a ‘side story’ going on in the American media – both the electronic and print about the Islamist jihadists lethal attack on the American ‘post’ in Benghazi, Libya last September 11 which killed American ambassador Christopher Steven and three others; The emphasis and the debate is on why the event was twisted by the Obama administration to conceal a terrorist attack on eve of the presidential election.
With the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2 last year the administration, which was approaching the re-election of Mr. Obama in November, wants to convince the American people that the al Qaeda was now annihilated for good.
When the Islamist jihadist group affiliated to al Qaeda lethally attacked the American ‘post’ in Benghazi the Obama administration twisted the events to convince that a anti-Islamic video produced by someone in California was the cause of the attack.
These days the highlights and debate is about why the ‘talking points’ were changed twelve times to give that different picture.
As Obama rightfully said a couple of days ago about this debate, mostly spearheaded by the Republicans, was a ‘side show.’
The ‘real show’ is in fact buried. And the ‘real show’ is that the United States, Ambassador Steven playing a major role, was in the process of shipping arms to Syrian rebels to topple Basher el-Assad’s regime.
It was on October 25 last year that FoxNews.com broke the story that a mysterious Libyan ship was reportedly carrying weapons and bound for Syrian rebels would have had some link to the September 11 terror attack on the U.S. ‘post’ in Benghazi.
Why do we use the term ‘post’ in this report? Because when changes were made to the Benghazi attack story by the Obama administration it changed from ‘American Consulate’ to ‘American Post’. The reason: Benghazi operation was entirely a CIA operation.
Through shipping records, Fox News has confirmed that the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officers were killed during an extended assault by more than 100 Islamist militants.
On the night of Sept. 11, in what would become his last known public meeting, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and escorted him out of the ‘posts’ front gate one hour before the assault began.
Although what was discussed at the meeting is not public, a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer, an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. And although the negotiation said to have taken place may have had nothing to do with the attack on the consulate later that night or the Libyan mystery ship, it could explain why Stevens was travelling in such a volatile region on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
When asked to comment, a State Department spokeswoman dismissed the idea, saying Stevens was there for diplomatic meetings, and to attend the opening of a cultural center.
According to an initial Sept. 14 report by the Times of London, Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo. Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria’s rebels on the frontlines.
The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS.
In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.
In November 2011 The Telegraph reported that Belhadj, acting as head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army [FSA] leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey” in an effort by the new Libyan government to provide money and weapons to the growing insurgency in Syria.
The Internet Media reported at that time that Ambassador Stevens had only one person—Belhadj—between himself and the Benghazi man who brought heavy weapons to Syria.
The Asian Tribune has also found that the Internet Media further reported that if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.
Furthermore there was a CIA post in Benghazi, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. consulate, used as “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” … and that its security features “were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died.”
As noted earlier, the Obama administration has since described the American facility in Benghazi not as a ‘Consulate’ but as a ‘Post’.
The U.S. Republican Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to run for his party presidential nomination in the year 2016, was the only American lawmaker who disclosed about this ‘arms deal’ which he connects to Ambassador Steven’s brutal murder in the hands of the Islamist Jihadists.
In an interview aired on CNN May 9 evening, Sen. Paul said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that last year’s attack unfolded as a result of a secret arms trade. The confusion in the immediate aftermath of the event — including unfounded admissions from America’s United Nations envoy Susan Rice that contradicted what is known today about the attack — could actually be a cover-up, the senator said.
The Obama administration sent its ambassador to UN Susan Rice on the following Sunday talk shows to say that the offending Islamic video was the cause of the attack in Benghazi.
“I’ve actually always suspected that, although I have no evidence, that maybe we were facilitating arms leaving Libya going through Turkey into Syria,” he said.Hmmmm......"There she blows."Read the full story here
Monday, May 20, 2013
"We all have to do some belt tightening" - Obamas to Travel to Africa.HT: WhiteHouseDossier.By KeithKoffler.
From the White House
President Obama and the First Lady look forward to traveling to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26 – July 3.
The President will reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade; strengthening democratic institutions; and investing in the next generation of African leaders.Mrs. Obama, you may remember, traveled to South Africa two years ago for a trip that was half work and half vacation. And almost all taxpayers.Hmmmm.....Quo vadis Sequester?Read the full story here.
“Iran is among a few leading world countries producing such an air defense system domestically. This mobile air defense system is more advanced and capable than our previous air defense models,” said Iran’s defense minister, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi. “The battery can be activated within a matter of minutes,” he added. Vahidi said the air defense system is able to detect and track targets at low altitudes and automatically hit them.HT: UskowiOnIran. More photo's here.
Former counter terrorism head: FBI never called Ft.Hood 'Workplace Violence'.HT: Breitbart.
Michael Steinbach, former head of the FBI’s counterterrorism division and now special agent in charge of Miami, told over 30 congressional staffers in March of 2012 that, contrary to the White House's classification, the bureau does not refer to the Fort Hood shooting as "workplace violence."As head of the FBI counterterrorism division, Steinbach oversaw the investigation into the mass murder at Texas Army base. Steinbach made this claim during an unclassified counterterrorism briefing on Capitol Hill.
“Do you guys teach your agents that Fort Hood was workplace violence?” one staffer asked.
“I’m not gonna go there for you,” Steinbach responded.
“I think that’s along the lines of what we’re trying to discern here,” the staffer answered back.
“I appreciate it. I was just at a hearing yesterday and the very same question came up to our executive assistant director to the head (inaudible). No, that’s not the description of it. In that case, we took a very, very hard look at ourselves as well,” Steinbach explained.
He continued, “There was an internal review into the Fort Hood matter and what it was that we did and didn’t do well in that case and I don’t think anyone considers that—I’ve never heard that term used in the FBI or by any official in the FBI and there are some concerns as to whether or not people outside the FBI use that term."
"I’ll leave that to whoever said that to explain their words," Steinbach concluded. "I have not heard it used at the FBI.”Army Major Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of opening fire on November 5, 2009 at the Fort Hood, Texas Army Base, killed 13, including a pregnant woman, and injuring over 30 others. According to Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, a Fort Hood general, Hasan yelled "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is Great") before he began shooting.
The Department of Defense classified the Fort Hood shooting as “workplace violence.” Such a classification has denied the victims of the attack purple hearts and medical care Americans wounded overseas in combat zones would receive.
According to ABC News, a Pentagon position paper issued on March 29 says that issuing purple hearts to the victims would “irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration” and “undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan [the alleged Fort Hood shooter] by materially and directly compromising Major Hasan’s ability to receive a fair trial.”
The Army’s chief of staff at the time of the Fort hood attack, Gen. George Casey, said in November of 2012: “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
The paper was issued in response to legislation put forth again by Rep. John Carter (R-TX), whose district includes Fort Hood. The legislation would award both military and civilian fatalities of the attack combatant status.
Former police sergeant Kimberly Munley helped stop the attack at Fort Hood. She told ABC News she felt “betrayed” by President Obama, who promised the victims of the shooting would be taken care of.Read the full story here.
Video - Monstrous Oklahoma tornado as much as a 1.6 kilometres wide with winds up to 320 km/h Kills at Least 37.
Monstrous Oklahoma tornado as much as a 1.6 kilometres wide with winds up to 320 km/h Kills at Least 37.(NYTimes).
Live updates here!And here.
MOORE, Okla. — Homes were flattened, cars were flung through the air and at least two schools packed with children were destroyed as a huge tornado, perhaps a mile wide, tore through towns near Oklahoma City on Monday, killing at least 37 people and sending rescuers and residents dashing to dig out survivors buried in rubble.As the injured began flooding into local hospitals, the authorities said many remained trapped, even as rescue workers struggled to make their way through debris-clogged streets to the devastated suburb of Moore, where much of the damage occurred. Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner, said that at least 37 people had died, and officials said that toll was likely to climb.
At Briarwood Elementary school in Oklahoma City on the border with Moore, cars were thrown through the façade and the roof was torn off. A short distance away, at Plaza Towers Elementary school here rescue workers struggled to tear through rubble amid reports the dozens students remained trapped.
While there was no official confirmation of fatalities, local media citing witnesses said rescue workers had begun to pull bodies from the rubble at various locations.
“Numerous neighborhoods completely leveled,” Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said by telephone. “Neighborhoods just wiped clean.”
Sergeant Knight said debris and damage to roadways along with heavy traffic were was hindering emergency responders, who continue to race to the affected areas.Brooke Cayot, a spokeswoman for the Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said that as of 5:48 Central Time the hospital had received 33 patients. Of those 10 were listed in critical condition, 10 in serious and 12 in fair or good. Many more patients were expected.“They’ve been coming in minute by minute,” Ms. Cayot said.Read the full story here, more here.
"We Didn't Target the Juice" - IRS reinstates Zionist Organization of America's tax exempt status.HT: IsraelMatzav.The IRS has apparently decided to relieve some of the pressure it is facing by reinstating the tax-exempt status of the Zionist Organization of America. Here's a press release from the ZOA.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is pleased to report that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reinstated its recognition of ZOA’s status as a tax exempt, tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization.
In a letter dated May 15, 2013 to the ZOA, the IRS wrote,
“We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to you are deductible under section 170 of the Code. You are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers of gifts under section 2055, 2104, or 2502 of the Code.” ZOA wishes to emphasize that all donations to ZOA have remained tax-deductible throughout this period since they were legally directed to the “ZOA Donors Fund” managed by the Foundation For Jewish Community (fjc.org), a third party 501(c)(3) donor-advised fund. Direct gifts to ZOA will now again be tax-deductible.“The work of the ZOA has never been altered or diminished one iota during this period. Our campus work; our Title VI efforts; our Capitol Hill work; our writings, lectures, TV and radio appearances have continued as always. Our devoted ZOA Board and virtually all of our major donors and all of our employees remained committed to and supportive of ZOA,” Klein explained.
We are also pleased to announce that at its November 23, 2013 Brandeis Dinner, Gov. Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Host of the Huckabee Show on Fox TV, will be the speaker and will be receiving the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Award for Pro-Israel Activism. We would also add that ZOA is honored to have James Tisch, prominent and distinguished Jewish communal and business leader, as Co-Chair of our upcoming ZOA Dinner. Mr. Tisch has served as Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and as Chairman of the New York Jewish Federation – UJC. He serves as CEO of Loews Corp.
Morton Klein, President, Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chairman, and David Drimer, Executive Director, said, “We are gratified that the IRS has reinstated our long held tax exempt status. We also want to thank our friends and especially a great group of devoted ZOA employees who helped to expedite the resolution of this matter. A special thanks must be given to Mr. Tyler B.Korn, our brilliant and tireless tax attorney who gave freely of his time, energy, and wisdom to help resolve this situation.
We want to emphasize that ZOA’s work never stopped and never changed during this period. We also want to thank all of our friends and donors for their continuing support. The ZOA looks forward to continuing our critical work promoting strong US/Israel relations; advocating for Israel’s security; protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism on America’s campuses; and educating the public, media, and Congress on the ongoing Arab war against Israel.
You think the discovery that the IRS has been openly discriminating against conservative groups had nothing to do with ZOA's tax-exempt status being reinstated? If you really think that, you're a fool. Hmmmm......I totally agree with Carl on the latter.Read the full story here.
Report: Top Obama lawyer told of IRS targeting in April.(TheHill).
President Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the Internal Revenue Service and uncovered the targeting of conservative groups, according to a report.The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that a senior administration official said White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler learned about the inspector general’s conclusions during the week of April 22, including that IRS agents had directed unfair scrutiny toward Tea Party groups and others who were seeking tax exemption. Obama press secretary Jay Carney had previously acknowledged that the counsel’s office knew that the audit had been completed in April.
The report that White House lawyers may have known the report’s findings weeks before they became public will likely fuel GOP questions about when other senior administration officials first learned about the scandal and if the president should have been notified sooner.
President Obama has said he first learned about the IRS misconduct when the public did, on May 10.
The inspector general’s office said it notified Treasury Secretary Lew about the audit in March, but that he did not learn about the report findings until they went public.
The White House declined to say if Ruemmler had shared knowledge of the inspector general’s findings with other senior administration staff, according to the Journal.
The disclosure of the IRS political targeting has brought criticism from both parties, with Congress beginning hearings. President Obama called the conduct “outrageous” last week and sought and received the resignation of Steven Miller, the acting director of the IRS.
Despite those actions, many GOP lawmakers are questioning if the political targeting was directed or ordered by senior officials in the administration and want further answers on when top Treasury and White House officials first learned of the scandal.
On Sunday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he believed that a special counsel would eventually be “necessary” to look into the IRS. Read the full story here.
"Guess What" Deadly H7N9 virus develops drug-resistance to Tamiflu. (YourHealth).
TAIPEI, Taiwan - The only H7N9 patient so far in Taiwan was carrying two strains of the same virus, with one being drug resistant and the other not, making it tricky to treat to him, doctors said.Huang Li-min, a doctor from National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), explained that it was possible the avian flu virus was not drug resistant when the patient was first infected, but mutated later to become resistant to Tamiflu.
With Tamiflu failing, NTUH later switched to another intravenous drug, Huang said. Because of the presence of the two strains simultaneously, it was difficult for doctors to determine how much the virus’ drug resistance had undermined the therapy Chou Chi-hao, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said it is natural for viruses to mutate, saying the H1N1 flu strain mutated after infecting human beings.
But Huang said H7N9 has limited chances of human-to-human transmission through respiratory secretions because the virus has difficulty surviving the environments of human upper respiratory systems. Patients do not have symptoms of a runny nose or sneezing.
The patient, surnamed Lee, got sick on April 12, three days after returning from a business trip in China. His condition was initially critical, but has improved much. He has already been transferred from the intensive care unit to an ordinary ward at NTUH. The findings by the NTUH and CDC about H7N9 are to be published in a local medical journal next month. Resistance is of concern in the scenario of an influenza pandemic (Wong and Yuen 2005), and may be more likely to develop in avian influenza than seasonal influenza due to the potentially longer duration of infection by novel viruses.Read the full story here.
"Missing Girlfriend Found?" - Unknown remains found near Dellen Millard's farm.(Yahoo).
Police searching the farm of Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old charged with first-degree murder after the remains of Ancaster, Ont., man Tim Bosma were discovered, have found other unknown remains near the property.Forensic investigators are now working to determine whether the other remains are human or animal.
Police also found an incinerator on the farm that they say Millard purchased last July. The machine, known as "The Eliminator," is used to cremate livestock, but police say Millard didn't own any animals.
The latest discovery comes after police announced last week that they had found the burned remains of Bosma, but they have not yet said where they were located.
Millard, the 27-year-old heir of a family aviation dynasty, was charged with kidnapping and killing Bosma after the husband and father disappeared after he went on a test drive May 6 with two men who answered an online ad. Police said earlier they were searching for other suspects.
Investigators said they're examining missing persons cases for potential connections with Millard. At the top of their list is 23-year-old Laura Babcock, who disappeared last summer and, according to friends of the woman, was once in a relationship with Millard.
At the time, police didn't consider the disappearance of Babcock suspicious.
Babcock's cellphone records show that shortly before she vanished, she had called him eight times. CBC News contacted an ex-boyfriend of Babcock's who said he examined her phone bill for clues after she went missing and noticed several calls to Millard, a person Shawn Lerner said she had known "for several years."
Lerner said he brought the phone records to Millard and asked him about the nature of the phone calls while trying to investigate Babcock's disappearance.
"At first, he denied it. I had the phone bill on me and produced it," Lerner said. "Finally he relented and admitted that they did exchange calls. And [he] claimed that she was asking him for drugs and for a place to stay and that he didn't oblige either of those requests."
Millard's lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, says police have not questioned his client about Babcock's disappearance, and that Millard maintains his innocence in the Bosma case. Police confirmed they are also investigating the apparent suicide of Millard's father last December.Read the full story here.
Related: Missing woman contacted murder suspect Dellen Millard shortly before her disappearance
Weird or what? 45% of Belgian Prison Inmates Are Muslim.(SudInfo -Google Translate).
5000 inmates in Belgian prisons are Muslim. That represents 45% of the prison population.A situation which impose constraints on the prison organisation. In Forest, the decision has been made to simply no longer serve pork in the meals. 80% of the inmates are Muslim and refuse to eat pork. It has become simpler to no longer provide it on the menu at all rather than create different dishes. But there are other inconveniences from this large population practising Islam. For example, some inmates refuse to obey female guards because they are women. Or they try and transform some communal areas into places of prayer.
And then there are the dangers of radicalisation in prison. The executive of the Muslims of Belgium itself warns about the risks of radicalism and asks that the practice of religion be formalised so that the extremists cannot take advantage of it to push towards a fundamentalist Islam.Hmmmm.....Percentage of Muslims in Belgium 6% : Read the full story here.
SMOKING GUN: OBAMA MET WITH IRS UNION CHIEF THE DAY BEFORE AGENCY STARTED TARGETING CONSERVATIVES.HT:InfidelBloggers.
What did the President know? And when did he know it?From Gateway Pundit:
“For me, it’s about collaboration.” — National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama White House Is President Obama directly implicated in the IRS scandal?
Is the White House Visitors Log the trail to the smoking gun?
The stunning questions are raised by the following set of new facts. March 31, 2010.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America.
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.Hmmmm......."Wir haben es nicht gewusst".Read the full story here.
Full story here @ Spectator
"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week, according to the Associated Press. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123862834153780427.html
Obama's BFF Turkey, Egypt agree to Iran proposed petrochemical OPEC.(Mehr).
National Iranian Petrochemical Organization (NIPO) says Turkey and Egypt have agreed with Iran’s proposal to form an international petrochemical association similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). “On the sideline of the petrochemical conference of the D8 group of countries, Turkey and Egypt, as the two biggest producers of petrochemical products and engineering polymers in the Middle East, agreed to Iran’s oil proposals,” NIPO Managing Director Abdolhossein Bayat said.
Bayat noted that Iran would hold talks with several other petroleum producing Islamic countries in the near future to further discuss the establishment of an international petrochemical association.
“Currently with the presence of Iran, Turkey and Egypt the core establishment of a petrochemical OPEC has been formed,” he added.
The D8 is a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations that have formed an economic development alliance. It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
The petrochemical conference of the D8 countries was held in Tehran on Monday concurrent with Iran’s 10th International Petrochemical Industry Conference.
On Sunday, Director for Planning and Development at the NPC Ramezan Oladi said Iran currently represents about a quarter of the Middle East’s petrochemical products.
Oladi said that Iran has a roughly 25-percent-share of the petrochemicals in the Middle East, and is planning to increase it to 38 percent by 2015.
Iran reaped USD 12 billion from exporting petrochemicals in the last Iranian calendar year which ended on March 20, 2013.
Nearly 60 countries, mainly from South and Southeast Asia, imported Iran’s petrochemical products in the previous Iranian calendar year.
Iran has significantly expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical production over the past few years, and the NPC has become the second largest producer and exporter of petrochemicals in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.Hmmmm.....Who Needs enemies with such 'Allies'?Perhaps the US Congress can give Egypt and Turkey some more money and weapons?Read the full story here.
Obama Tells Grads ‘I Might Have Been in Prison’.(ABCnews).
President Obama said yesterday that he is motivated by the knowledge that “but for the grace of God … I might have been in prison,” in a commencement address at historically black Morehouse College, where he spoke frankly about race and young men’s responsibilities to 500 male graduates.In his second commencement address of this graduation season, the president called on the graduates to set examples for others and reach out to those who need help, telling them that as a black man he felt a unique connection to assist those in need because he could have faced similar circumstances.
“There but for the grace of God go I, I might have been in their shoes. I might have been in prison,” he said at the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College. “I might have been unemployed, I might not have been able to support a family, and that motivates me.”
The president said that many young black men “make bad choices,” but told the graduates, “We’ve got no time for excuses,” because the difficulties they’ve faced “pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured, and if they overcame them, you can too.”
“Growing up, I made quite a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is that there is no longer any room for excuses,” he said.Read the full story here.
UK Man has Prostate Removed After Tests Reveal ‘Jolie’ Gene Flaw.(Ibitimes).By Tom Porter. A 53-year-old British father has become the first man to have his prostate removed because tests revealed he was carrying a "faulty" cancer gene.
A clinical trial at London's Institute of Cancer Research revealed that he carried the BRCA2 gene, which research shows is associated with a high risk of developing prostate cancer.
Several of the man's family had suffered from breast or prostate cancer, which is why he took part in the study.
The closely associated BRCA1 gene has been known for some time to have links with breast cancer, and last week actress Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy when tests revealed that she carried the gene.
After receiving the news the man asked doctors to remove his prostate, which tests had shown to be healthy.
Surgeons were initially reluctant, since the potential side effects of the operation include infertility, incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
MRI scans and a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA tests, did not show the presence of malignant cells, but microscopic examination revealed cell changes associated with cancer, prompting the surgeons to act.
Surgeon Roger Kirby told the Sunday Times: "The relatively low level of cancerous cells we found in this man's prostate before the operation would these days not normally prompt immediate surgery to remove the gland, but given what we now know about the nature of BRCA2, it was definitely the right thing for this patient." After the gland was removed, tests revealed previously undetected cancers. "This patient is now absolutely fine. A number of these BRCA families have now been identified, and knowing you are a carrier is like having the sword of Damocles hanging over you. You are living in a state of constant fear. I am sure more male BRCA carriers will now follow suit."Hmmmm.......As from Day One i had bad vibes about this whole thing, now given the following story below i'm starting to believe my gut feeling was right on this one.Read the full story here.
Related: Angelina Jolie part of a clever corporate scheme to protect billions in BRCA gene patents, influence Supreme Court decision (opinion)?