- Britain declares end to 'war on Christmas'.The Communities and Local Government minister declared the "war on Christmas" over Saturday, urging local authorities to stop avoiding the festival's Christian basis."We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ," Eric Pickles said in a reference to the Christmas-hating character from a children's book."The war on Christmas is over, and the likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be in the dustbin of history," he added.Despite the economic hard times in Britain, local councils should not be cutting down on Christmas festivities as it was in their own financial interest to encourage shoppers, he added."Shoppers want to see Christmas lights, Christmas trees, carol services and nativity scenes, and councils should not hesitate in supporting them."Hmmmm....now who would wage "war" on Christmas,now that they admit there's a "war" going on?Read the full story here.
- WikiLeaks: The revelations at a glance.America's diplomatic secrets have been laid bare in a flood of more than a quarter of a million classified cables.At a glance, here are some of the highlights:Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi being accompanied everywhere by a ‘voluptuous blonde’ Ukranian nurse.That's about the only one we didden't know by now.Read the rest here.
- HT:Big Goverment.Another Homeland Security Overreach: DHS Starts Seizing Websites.The sites were seized before the site’s owner heard any charges or had the chance to submit any counter evidence in court. The owners of the sites had their property seized without being allowed to defend themselves. I successfully avoided law school, so I don’t know the exact legal term, but this strikes me as an overstep in their enforcement authority.But, the article begs an even bigger question: What the hell do fake Guccis have to do with homeland security?In fact, the article notes that Congress hasn’t given this authority to the Attorney General:A controversial bill that would allow the Attorney General to shut down domains on similar grounds was recently derailed (temporarily) by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.The Attorney General is the chief enforcer of federal law and, accordingly, is responsible for enforcing federal copyright protections. And, he doesn’t have the authority that Homeland Security is asserting for itself.Now, ask yourself this: What will the Agency be doing 10 years from now? Or, 20? In a little more than half a decade, DHS has morphed from protecting us from terrorists to protecting us from fake merchandise. Who is going to protect us from DHS?Read the full story here.Related :If they intend to implement everywhere these bodyscanners, then they will need extra
troopspersonnel is this provided by the Obama’s Civilian National Security Force?A.k.a. Obama Care.Are these the people ($chutz $taffels) who will operate these machines?Source.
- Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea.Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show. Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity. The missiles could for the first time give Iran the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or easily reach Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.There has been scattered but persistent speculation on the topic since 2006, when fragmentary reports surfaced that North Korea might have sold Iran missiles based on a Russian design called the R-27, once used aboard Soviet submarines to carry nuclear warheads. In the unclassified world, many arms control experts concluded that isolated components made their way to Iran, but there has been little support for the idea that complete missiles, with their huge thrusters, had been secretly shipped.The cable added that Tehran could use the BM-25 technologies as “building blocks” for the production of long-range missiles. But it offered no information to back up that assessment.Hmmmm......Turkey....."Iran is no threat"yeah whatevah!Read the full story here.
- The Wikileaks.US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis• More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies.• Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies• Hillary Clinton leads frantic 'damage limitation'.Among scores of other disclosures that are likely to cause uproar, the cables detail:• Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme • Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.• Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan.• Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.Read the full story here.
- The Wikileaks 2.Cables Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels.A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday.The anticipated disclosure of the cables is already sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could conceivably strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.Read the full story here.
- HT:Gawker.Wikileaks 3 .Wikileaks' Newest Leak Leaked on Twitter.Twitter has out-leaked the leakers. About 12 hours before Wikileaks latest enormous leak was scheduled to be released, a Twitter user bought a copy of a German news magazine outlining the leak after it was placed on newstands too early.According to tweets from German-speaking Twitter users who snagged an embargoed copy of this week's Der Spiegel (cover above), the cache of over 250,000 confidential diplomatic cables may be a bit of a let-down. At least from the German point of view there are no earth-shattering revelations, just a lot of candid talk about world leaders. Angela Merkel is praised as "teflon," though she "avoids risk and is rarely creative," and German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle is repeatedly bashed. There is talk of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's "wild parties," (duh) and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likened to Hitler. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is called an "emperor with no clothes." The cables also show Obama has "no emotional relationship with Europe," focusing instead on Asian countries, according to Der Spiegel.It's the biggest leak since Kanye West's new album! But Wikileaks has bigger problems: They just tweeted "We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack." The attack has apparently brought Wikileaks.org down.Read the full story here.
- WikiLeaks: Arabs asked for Iran strike.Documents released to press after much hype say Netanyahu, Mubarak agreed that nuclear Iran would be as dangerous as Cuban missile crisis; leaders from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE called Islamic Republic 'evil'.The secret documents leaked by the controversial Web entity also show that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak agreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said a nuclear Iran would lead to an arms race in the Middle East. Netanyahu, who was the source that informed the US of the proceedings, said Mubarak had agreed that a nuclear Iran would constitute the largest threat since the Cuban missile crisis. Saudi King Abdullah and other Arab leaders also toed the line with this view, according to the secret files, and asked the US to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.The leaders of Jordan and Bahrain called on the US to put a stop to the program, even if it means using military means, the files say. "Leaders in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt referred to Iran as 'evil', an 'existential threat' and a power that 'is going to take us to war', the Guardian reported. Source.
- N. Korea deploys SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near Yellow Sea border.North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles to its west coast near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea as U.S.-led naval drills got underway in a show of force against the North’s deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier last week, government sources said Sunday. “(The missiles) appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line (NLL),” the source said on customary condition of anonymity, referring to the Yellow Sea border.Read the full story here.
- HT:TundraTabloids.Viennese classroom showing signs of Turkish grey wolves.From the German language website for ESW’s Save Free Speech: A source who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, sent us the following class photo in the 2nd Viennese school District. At first glance, it is a picture of happy children. Those who look closer to discover, the greeting of the Grey Wolves.As enemies they have, especially Jews, Christians, Armenians, Greeks, Communists, Zionists, Freemasons, the Vatican, Kurds, Persians and the United States are mentioned. In the fight against racism in Vienna could start new red-green city government the same time with the public arising from Turkish racists who indoctrinate their children. A court trial for incitement and against Sabaditsch-Elisabeth Wolff will be there but not enough.Turkish Fascists out in the open the day the Mavi Marmara headed off to Gaza.Read and see the whole story here.
- HT:Memri.Video.Former Pakistani Lawmaker Javed Ibrahim Paracha: Osama Bin Laden Is Alive and Well and Often Rides to the Mosque on Horseback to Lead the Friday Prayers.Read and see the whole thing here.
- Psychiatrist warns of destructive impact of mass media on families.Despite being widely perceived as a defender of rights and freedoms, the media may turn into a means strong enough to spoil the structure of the family, cautioned Professor Aytekin Sır, a psychiatrist who attended a family conference in Antalya. Titled “Family as a Value in terms of Religion, Tradition and Modernity,” the international conference was held by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Nov. 26-27. Around 600 scholars from 50 countries around the globe attended the event.Sır underlined that it is not only TV series that pose a danger to traditional family values. What is probably more dangerous is the morning TV shows geared towards women.“A woman who appears on a live TV show may divulge even the most personal sides of her family. I believe such shows, geared towards women, should not be broadcast live. They should be broadcast only after they are screened by a supervisory body,” the professor noted. He also said a similar precaution should be taken against TV shows such as “Big Brother” and matchmaking programs.Another form of media activity that threatens the family structure, according to the professor, is reports on violence. He said earlier research showed that the more newspaper readers read or TV audiences watch about violence, the more violent they tend to be.There have long been calls for media outlets to avoid providing detailed coverage of cases of violence as detailed reports promote similar cases of violence and violate the personal rights of both victims and suspects. “We should also discuss how to present reports of suicide. Such reports should not be given in an encouraging manner or on the front pages of newspapers or magazines. They should find a place on the third page, but without any images or photos,” Sır stated.Hmmmm...Yeah that might work lets cover it up that 39 % of Turkish women complain of domestic violence.Read the full story here.
- Iranian Opposition Leader's Wife Decries Violence Against Women.Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi's wife has written an open letter to judiciary head Ali Larijani condemning political violence in the country, especially against women. In her letter, Rahnavard writes that Iran has become "a detention center" where the environment is that of a "police state."Kian noted that Rahnavard has been fighting for women's rights for the 20 years, especially when she was chancellor of the University of Alzahra.Kian says that along with the hard work of other Iranian women, Rahnavard is one of the main people promoting women's issues in Iran -- with the help of her husband -- during and after his 2009 presidential election campaign."She has criticized the past 30 years of the Iranian system [since the Islamic Revolution], which includes the period when her husband was prime minister," Kian says.Kian adds that Rahnavard has a large following. "She is influential not only among the higher-educated class of women [in Iran], but also among the traditional ones," she says.Read the full story here.
- Maid torturer in Saudi was born in Cairo: report.Widow remains in custody as maid is moved out of intensive care.A widow who has been arrested for severely torturing her Indonesian housemaid in Saudi Arabia was born in Cairo and has seven children, the Saudi Arabic language newspaper Okaz reported on Sunday.The paper also said the 23-year-old maid was moved out of the intensive care unit at King Fahd Hospital in the central town of Madina after undergoing a surgery on her badly damaged scalp.“The widow has undergone psychiatric tests and is still in confinement with no visitors allowed…Okaz has learned that the woman was born in Cairo and has one son and six daughters aged between 19 and 24 years,” the paper said, without making clear if the woman is Saudi or Egyptian.Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Ali Akbar Salehi: Iran Has Produced 35 Kilos of 20%-Enriched Uranium.Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran would turn to Russia to import radioactive materials for medicinal purposes, due to a shortage of these materials in the country.He added that Iran has produced 35 kilograms of 20%-enriched uranium, and would continue to produce three kilos of enriched uranium per month.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Women Sue Male Guardians Blocking Marriage.More Saudi Women Come Forward With Cases of Male Guardianship, Described by Rights Advocate as a "Form of Slavery". Year after year, the 42-year-old Saudi surgeon remains single, against her will. Her father keeps turning down marriage proposals, and her hefty salary keeps going directly to his bank account. The surgeon in the holy city of Medina knows her father, also her male guardian, is violating Islamic law by forcibly keeping her single, a practice known as "adhl." So she has sued him in court, with questionable success. Adhl cases reflect the many challenges facing single women in Saudi Arabia. But what has changed is that more women are now coming forward with their cases to the media and the law. Dozens of women have challenged their guardians in court over adhl, and one has even set up a Facebook group for victims of the practice. The backlash comes as Saudi Arabia has just secured a seat on the governing board of the new United Nations Women's Rights Council - a move many activists have decried because of the desert kingdom's poor record on treatment of women. Saudi feminist Wajeha al-Hawaidar describes male guardianship as "a form of slavery.""A Saudi woman can't even buy a phone without the guardian's permission," said al-Hawaidar, who has been banned from writing or appearing on Saudi television networks because of her vocal support of women's rights. "This law deals with women as juveniles who can't be in charge of themselves at the same time it gives all powers to men."Giving Saudi Arabia a seat on the governing board of the new United Nations Women's Rights Council is saying Welcome to A.D. 620.Read the full story here.
- Video :Afghan Women Defy Taliban with Soccer.A group of courageous Afghan women continue to play soccer despite receiving death threats from the Taliban. As Mandy Clark reports, these fearless athletes continue to try and push the boundaries.Hmmm...women with "balls"? Read and see the full story here.