- Fierce battles rage in Libya. Pro- and anti-government forces fight for control of strategic towns including Brega, which houses a key oil facility.Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, are reported to have regained control of two strategic towns in the country's northwest, even as opposition fighters in the east prepare to march on the capital, Tripoli.The claims about the fall of Gharyan and Sabratha on Wednesday came as fighting raged between pro- and anti-government forces over the control of the eastern town of Brega, the headquarters of several oil companies, and Gaddafi appeared on state television once again."They tried to take Brega this morning, but they failed," Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the February 17th Coalition, an anti-government group, told the Reuters news agency."It is back in the hands of the revolutionaries. He is trying to create all kinds of psychological warfare to keep these cities on edge."Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Bengazi, Libya's second largest city now controlled by rebels, described the situation in the Brega region as fluid." I think it's fair to say that here is a fair amount of fighting going on in that area," she said.Earlier the Associated Press news agency quoted Ahmed Jerksi, manager of the oil installation in Brega, as saying that pro-Gaddafi forces took control of the facility at dawn without using force.There were conflicting claims about the casualties from these battles.Government forces were also reported to be battling to regain control of rebel-held towns close to Tripoli, trying to create a buffer zone around what is still Gaddafi's seat of power.Our correspondent said an air raid carried out by forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly targeted a weapons store about 6km outside the eastern town of Ajdabiya.Witnesses told the Associated Press news agency that they saw two warplanes bomb the town's eastern outskirts at 10am local time.They also said pro-Gaddafi forces were advancing on the town. "I see two jets bombing now,'' one witness said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.Another witness said rebel forces were rushing to the western side of Ajdabiya to meet the advancing pro-Gaddafi force.The destroyer USS Barry moved through the Suez Canal on Monday and into the Mediterranean Sea.Two amphibious assault ships, the USS Kearsarge, which can carry 2,000 marines, and the USS Ponce passed through the canal on Wednesday.The White House said the ships were being redeployed in preparation for possible humanitarian efforts but stressed it "was not taking any options off the table"."We are looking at a lot of options and contingencies. No decisions have been made on any other actions," Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, said.The US says Libya could sink into civil war unless Gaddafi quits amid fears that the uprising - the bloodies against long-serving rulers in north Africa and the Middle East - could cause a humanitarian crisis.Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has cautioned that "Libya could become a peaceful democracy or it could face protracted civil war".But Gaddafi remains defiant and his son, Saif al-Islam, has warned the West against launching military action, insisting that his father would neither step down nor go into exile.Read and see the full story here.
- Breaking News.Frankfurt airport shooting: two killed in attack on US troops.Bus driver and US soldier killed and two others injured in shooting at Frankfurt airport, reports say.Two men including a US soldier have been shot dead at Frankfurt airport, German media reported.The gunman, believed to be from Kosovo, opened fire on a bus containing US troops in front of Terminal 2.The bus driver and a soldier were killed, according to the German news channel N-TV. Two others, thought to be soldiers, were seriously hurt.The shooting happened at 3.20pm local time. "It all appears to have taken place on the bus," said a police spokesman, Jürgen Linker. It was too early to discuss the gunman's possible motives, he said.The US Army Europe said it had no immediate information on the incident but was looking into it.Read the full story here.
- HT:AmnonAndJonathan."civil-rights activists" know better!What a crazy, mixed-up world we live in.The citywide mental institution we call San Francisco (I prefer Michael Savage's "San Fransicko" moniker) is now considering a ballot proposition that would ban doctors and mohels from performing infant circumcisions.The self-proclaimed "civil rights activists" behind this move claim the procedure is too risky for infants, who can't give their consent. Parents and doctors are apparently untrustworthy to make such decisions, so it's up to the majority of San Fransickos to determine the one-size-fits-all approach regardless of medical advice and religious freedom.Keep in mind, San Fransicko is a city that pioneered extending medical benefits to cover sex-change operations.So this could become the first city to subsidize sex-change operations and ban circumcision.How crazy is this?Circumcision is a 5,000-year-old procedure that, to my knowledge, has very few medical downsides. Maybe that's because it was prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.Needless to say, many spiritual and physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob believe they are commanded to perform this procedure on their male children.And many doctors believe there is more risk in not circumcising than in doing it.By the way, I guarantee you the same people voting in favor of this ban are those in favor of abortion on demand.In other words, it's perfectly appropriate to kill the infant a day or two prior to birth, but it's not OK to circumcise him eight days later.Hello?Who are these people?From where do they derive their sense of right and wrong?I thought these people were all about "choice"?Keep in mind, no one is forcing circumcision on parents and children. It is currently a choice – one that is made after considering medical and religious advice. These "pro-choicers" in San Fransicko, once again, want to take away choice.These are the people who say "you can't legislate morality." What they really mean is only they can legislate morality.
And they do it every chance they get with bans:
* incandescent light bulbs;
* restrictions on carbon production;
* smoking – even outdoors;
* trans fats;
Now they are effectively trying to ban Jews – in a roundabout way that would have made Hitler proud.The next thing you know, the Torah will be banned because it mandates infant circumcision.Am I the only one who sees this action as blatant anti-Semitism?Hmmmm.....Whats next ban the sign of the cross?Read the full story here.
- Pakistan Breaking News.Fed Minister for Minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was assasinated in the I-8/3 area of Islamabad on Wednesday morning by three unidentified gunmen.According to reports, the Tehrik-i-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the minister.Screen captures of the pamphlet can be viewed here.The minister had left his house moments ago when his car was intercepted by a white Suzuki Mehran. Assailants, dressed in shalwar kurtas, first took the minister’s driver out the car and then shot at Bhatti.According to IG Islamabad, this was not a security lapse as escorts were provided to Bhatti, which he was not using. The minister had apparently instructed his security to wait at the office in I-8/4.“The squad officer told me that the minister had directed him to wait for him at his office. He used to often visit his mother’s house without a squad,” Durrani said. “We are investigating the matter from different angles.”Bhatti had been receiving death threats and he had requested the government for more security. He was provided with four guards by the interior ministry.Local resident Naseem Ahmed said the firing continued for about 30 seconds.“We came out of our home after hearing the gunfire, we saw the car, it was badly damaged. We saw the minister, he was rushed to hospital in a critical condition,” Ahmed told reporters.Bhatti was dead on arrival at Islamabad’s Shifa hospital, doctor Azmatullah Qureshi confirmed. Police said his body was riddled with at least eight bullets.Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited the hospital and offered condolences to Bhatti’s grieving relatives.“Such acts will not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism,” he said, adding that the killers would not go unpunished.Earlier, Bhatti had voiced his fears that he believed he would be “the highest target” following the assassination of Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer for speaking out against the blasphemy law.Bhatti had said fatwas, or religious decrees, had been issued calling for him to be beheaded, by extremist clerics in the country who were allowed to publicly spread messages of violence with impunity.Hmmmmm....."Islam the religion of peace'.Read the full story here.More here.
- HT:PajamasMedia.Congressman King: Subpoena the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).In an article published at Pajamas Media today, Andrew Bostom and I discuss some of the alarming positions taken by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) as detailed in their public fatwas, and urge Congressman King to subpoena (if necessary) and cross-examine the clerics from AMJA who issued these fatwas. To be honest, most of the credit for this goes to Dr. Bostom, though I was happy to help with some research of my own and translations of the Arabic fatwas.Despite opposition from the usual alphabet soup of Muslim Brotherhood-offshoot “advocacy” groups in the U.S., Congressman Peter King is forging ahead with planned mid-March hearings on what he terms domestic “Muslim radicalization.” In a December 19, 2010 Newsday editorial Congressman King cited these eminently reasonable concerns as justification for the hearings:As I became more immersed in attempting to unravel the radical Islamic threat to our nation and our civilization, it became more and more obvious to me that the moral myopia of Long Island’s Muslim leaders and their apologists in the media was the rule — and that there were few exceptions. Federal and local law enforcement officials throughout the country told me they received little or — in most cases — no cooperation from Muslim leaders and imams … I also know of imams instructing members of their mosques not to cooperate with law enforcement officials investigating the recruiting of young men in their mosques as suicide bombers. We need to find the reasons for this alienation.We believe direct cross-examination of clerics from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), including a frank discussion of their public “fatwas” (Islamic religious rulings), is essential to the congressman’s critically important goal of understanding Muslim radicalization in America.The AMJA mission statement maintains:[The AMJA was] founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America … AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities.Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its recent seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”), or adulterers (by stoning to death), and condone marital rape, and female genital mutilation. Moreover, AMJA, despite some equivocation, has also issued a blatantly anti-American fatwa directed at U.S. troops and their mission, which was deemed an “occupation.” Indeed, as AMJA cleric Katem Al-Hajj explained in a 23 page 2007 fatwa forbidding U.S. Muslims to work for the FBI or U.S. security services because of the ostensible harm these institutions cause Muslims, Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries are “subject to man-made laws, which Islamic law [Sharia] does not recognize, either fully or in part.” [...]Hmmmm......How about the part where they stated"We don't want to take over your country"or they did not mean our laws?Read the full story here.
- Rudy Giuliani: Iran must not become nuclear power.Celebrated New York mayor tells Haifa Chamber of Commerce military option not off table.The former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, who once ran to become the head of the Republican Party, was the guest of honor at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 90th anniversary celebrations, held on Tuesday night in Haifa's Congress Center.Giuliani, a likely candidate in the next Unites States presidential elections, clarified during a press conference held prior to the celebration events that he has not yet decided whether to run for president in 2012. However Giuliani did state his opinion on Iran's nuclear program saying: "We’re not going to allow Iran to be a nuclear power. We will take whatever steps we believe are necessary to stop them. I don't think that we should take the military option off the table." Giuliani was invited to the conference because of the extraordinary example he set as a leader a decade ago, following the September 11 attacks.Hmmmm.....The one and only mayor of NY.Read the full story here.
- Dear Leader's Union Labor Secretary Steps Into Wisconsin Union Fight.President Obama is staying mostly quiet about the union battle going on in Wisconsin. His labor secretary, Hilda Solis, is not."The fight is on!" Solis told a cheering crowd at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting over the weekend in Washington. Giving her support to "our brothers and sisters in public employee unions," Solis pledged aid to unionized workers who are "under assault" in Wisconsin and elsewhere[...]It's no surprise Solis sympathizes with the unions against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget reform proposal. After all, Solis often tells audiences how proud she is that her father was a Teamsters shop steward and her mother belonged to the United Steelworkers union. "Admittedly, I am a little biased," she told the DNC, "because ... I come from a union household."But is it the role of the secretary of labor to take sides in a fight that pits public employee union members against workers and taxpayers who support Walker's reforms? After all, the Labor Department mission statement says its purpose is "to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States." It doesn't say anything about unionized wage earners, job seekers, and retirees."The Labor Department should not represent only that part of the work force that is unionized," says Elaine Chao, labor secretary under George W. Bush. "It should be responsible for the overall welfare of the entire American work force."Hmmmm........The 'One' is appeasing his future 'troops'?When will Congress stop this corrupt administration?Read the full story here.
- Turkey - During the high-level session of the UN (UNHRC) devoted to Libya Turkey attacks Israel once more.A high-level session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) devoted to Libya offered Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu an opportunity to renew his country’s call to not let Israel push the tragedy stemming from its lethal raid on a Turkish aid ship into oblivion. “Following the Israeli assault that targeted the humanitarian aid flotilla on May 31, 2010, the council, to its credit, reacted without delay and without hesitation. It held an urgent debate and dispatched an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attacks,” Davutoğlu said, addressing the council in Geneva on Monday.“Some members of the council voted against the establishment of the fact-finding mission. Some others abstained. However, in the end, wisdom prevailed. I salute those who acted as the council’s true conscience. I must warn those who voted against or abstained. Such positions carry the risk of emboldening those countries who persistently violate human rights. One day others may follow suit. In the end it may be one or more of your countrymen whose rights are violated in the gravest manner. On that day it will be those countries that look upon this council for solutions,” he said.In September, Turkey’s ally the United States cast the lone vote against the endorsement by the UNHRC of a report that said Israel’s May 31 effort to stop a flotilla of ships from reaching the Gaza Strip was illegal. The seven EU member states on the body abstained, joining the US in saying that the text failed to recognize that another flotilla inquiry set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took primacy.“Unfortunately, the New York process, the Palmer Commission has not produced results. Israel is using this mechanism to push the issue into oblivion and prevent the international community from taking action,” Davutoğlu said, referring to the UN panel.Davutoğlu’s US counterpart, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, in her address, suggested that the UNHRC must abandon its bias against Israel which undermines its work.“The structural bias against Israel -- including a standing agenda item for Israel, whereas all other countries are treated under a common item -- is wrong. And it undermines the important work we are trying to do together,” she told the UNHRC.Hmmmm.......In other words stop your Anti - Semitism!Read the full story here.
- Turkey - Google's blog hosting service, blogspot.com/blogger.com banned in Turkey, another blow to Internet freedom as court bans website.Google’s famous blog hosting service, blogspot.com/blogger.com, has been banned following complaints by digital satellite platform Digiturk in Turkey, dipnot.tv reported yesterday. Serhat Özeren, chairman of the Telecommunications and Energy Services Consumer Rights and Industry Research Association (TEDER) and head of the Internet Council at the Ministry of Transportation, said a Diyarbakır court has issued an order to block blogspot.com after Digiturk filed a complaint against the website on the grounds that it violated the company’s broadcasting rights of Turkey’s top football division.Speaking in Germany while attending a CeBIT trade show, Özeren said the decision is a legal process between Google and Digiturk and only Google can solve the problem. “Google experiences the same problem in other countries as well. Only Google can appeal this decision,” he said.Explaining why not all blogspot.com pages had yet been blocked following the court order, Özeren said: “The decision has not reached all Internet providers at the same time. Providers receiving the decision will shut down the web pages while others may still be continuing. But within the two days at most, we expect the decision to have reached all providers. If the situation leading to the decision to ban the website is eliminated and Google appeals to the court, then the process may end.”Hmmmm......Once more another sign on the wall, keep Turkey out of the European union and get them out of NATO!Read the full story here.
- Iran would 'slaughter' people in revolt.An Iranian diplomat who defected last month said on Tuesday than Iran's leaders would rather "slaughter" their own people than surrender power to any popular revolt inspired by uprisings across the Arab world.Ahmed Maleki, who was vice consul of Iran's consulate in Milan before fleeing to Paris with his family last month, is the latest in a string of officials to defect from the Islamic state and join a year-old opposition group called the Green Wave.He said in an interview that Iranians had been inspired by images of popular revolt in North Africa but faced a regime far more brutal than those of Egypt, Tunisia or even Libya."In the course of the past 32 years the sole objective of the regime has been to retain power," he told Reuters at a prestigious hotel in Paris, speaking through an interpreter."They are willing to ... resort to whatever measure, including slaughter and bloodshed to the extreme in order to retain power."Hmmmm......The regime Obama is silent about.Read the full story here.
- Anti-tank missile defense system stops attack on IDF tank.The Trophy missile defense system deployed with IDF armored units stopped an antitank missile fired by gunmen near the Gaza Strip security fence on Tuesday – the first time it was used during an IDF operation, and the first time a system of this type was successfully battle-tested anywhere in the world.The IDF Spokesman’s Office reported that Trophy (known in Hebrew as “Meyil Ruah,” or “Windbreaker”) managed to identify and disable the incoming missile, saying no damage had been caused to the tank or its crew.“For the first time during operational activity, the Trophy system alerted and intercepted a missile,” the statement said.Shortly afterward, IDF troops identified a gunman in the area and opened fire, killing him at the scene.News of the 401st Armored Brigade’s successful use of the Trophy system was greeted with great fanfare in the IDF, which viewed the incident as “historic,” and emphasized that it had been the first successful application of any system of its type not only in Israel, but in any country’s armed forces.No group in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for the missile attack on the tank.“Terrorist organizations are constantly operating to target Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the army said. “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”Trophy made its debut in August 2009, when the IDF declared it operational and began the process of outfitting a battalion of tanks with the system. It is an active-protection system that stops incoming projectiles by spraying a small blast of buckshot-like material in their path. It was developed jointly by Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries.A system of this type attained great importance following the Second Lebanon War, during which IDF Merkava tanks were repeatedly hit by anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah. It is currently being installed on every new Merkava tank being produced.Hmmmm..........Mazel tov!Read the full story here.More here.
- HT:Memri.Document: A Guide to the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan.Pakistan witnessed a series of mass protests during December 2010-January 2011 against any attempt to change the controversial blasphemy laws of Pakistan. In Pakistan, generally militant Islamists take it upon themselves to implement the blasphemy laws. Several people granted bail or acquitted in blasphemy cases have been murdered in courtrooms, and on January 4, 2011, an elite security guard assigned to protect Punjab Governor Salman Taseer assassinated him for urging amendments to the blasphemy laws. One of the laws, Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), prohibits Ahmadi Muslims from calling themselves "Muslims" or preaching their faith. It should be noted that Ahmadi Muslims were legally declared as non-Muslims in 1974 by Pakistan for allegedly not believing Islam's Prophet Muhammad to be the final prophet.Of several blasphemy laws in Pakistan, the Section 295-C of the PPC carries the death penalty for committing an act of blasphemy against Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Following is a guide to various sections of the Chapter XV of the PPC, regarding the "Offences Relating to Religion.""Out of all these laws, only Section 295-C – use of derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet of Islam – carries the death penalty. Others carry various punishments including imprisonment and fines. "Section 295-C is different from other blasphemy laws in another respect. Section 196 (prosecution of offences against the State) of the Criminal Procedure Code bars courts from taking cognizance of certain offences unless the complaint is made on the order of, or under authority from, the government, presumably so that laws governing such offences are not misused. "After Section 295-A was introduced in the PPC in 1927, Section 196 was amended to cover it as well. But such a course was not adopted when Section 295-C was introduced, thereby allowing the courts to take cognizance of crimes under this section without requiring the government's order or authority." Hmmmm.....And if we can't use the law we just 'excecute' the opposition?Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Iranian Officials: Emirate's Artificial Islands In Gulf Are Illegal.Yahiya Rahim Safavi, advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Rahim Mehmanparast have said that the creation of artificial islands by the Arab Emirate states in the Gulf was not approved by the neighboring countries, and is illegal. Safavi stated that the islands greatly reduce the distance from the UAE to the three disputed islands Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Moussa, and changes the maritime border of the Gulf. He warned that Iran has ways of preventing such islands from being created. Mehmanparast said that the creation of these islands has security and ecological ramifications for the Gulf, and that the Foreign Ministry was closely monitoring the situation.Hmmm....Just keep feeding the Crocodile.Read the full story here.
- Yemen - Saleh to Obama: Are you president of the world?Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh chastised Washington on Tuesday for its criticism of Arab leaders’ responses to regional unrest, asking U.S. President Barack Obama if he was “President of the world.” Saleh, a key US ally against al-Qaeda in Yemen, chided the White House for its demands that leaders show restraint in tackling unrest as protests rage in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Oman, galvanized by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.“Every day we hear a statement from Obama saying ‘Egypt you can’t do this, Tunisia don’t do that’,” Saleh said in a speech at Sanaa University -- a rallying point in the capital for protests that have now swept across the Arabian Peninsula state.“What do you have to do with Egypt? Or with Oman? ... Are you president of the United States, or president of the world?”The 68-year-old leader, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, has met with tribal and regional military leaders to rally support, but with oil and water resources drying up, he is less able to pay off allies to keep the peace.Saleh offered to form a unity government on Monday. But the opposition swiftly rejected his offer and said it would stand with tens of thousands of protesters demanding he step down. As thousands of protesters rallied outside the university where he was speaking, Saleh told the students in the audience that they should talk to their classmates in the streets.“I will satisfy all of their demands, so far as it is within the power and capability of the state to do so,” he said. Protesters are angry at widespread corruption and high unemployment in Yemen, where 40 percent of the population on $2 a day or less and a third face chronic hunger.Hmmmm....Or is he the leader of the 'New World Order' revolution?Read the full story here.
- HT:NewsBusters.Video : Reich To Rich: Redistribute Or Risk Angry Populace Turning On You!Nice house there, rich guy. Wouldn't wanna see nuthin' happen to it . . .Robert Reich has actually argued that the rich should welcome redistributing more of their income to prevent an angry American populace from turning on them.Clinton's former Labor Secretary made his astounding assertion on Cenk Uygur's MSNBC show this evening.Hmmmm.....The assault on America getting in second gear?All they needed was a 'community organiser' to lead?Read the full story here.
- Obama, Hillary Working Hard to Prop Up Human Rights Demons at the United Nations.By Anne Bayefsky.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are on an urgent rescue mission – for the United Nations Human Rights Council. Clinton is not in Geneva today to do something about human rights. She is in Geneva to protect the administration’s investment in the U.N. human rights organization’s top body, which only six months ago welcomed Libya as a full member and only three months ago passed it through its meaningless “universal periodic review” process, touted as its number one monitoring procedure.Saving the Council’s reputation will be no mean feat. After all, the U.N. has spent years promoting Libya as a human rights authority figure – it was president of its Human Rights Commission in 2003 before being elected to the “reformed” Human Rights Council. Clinton’s trip assumed such urgency because President Obama made the decision to join the Council the flagship of his U.N.-focused foreign policy.That decision is also in very big trouble for something that happened Thursday of last week and has traveled below the radar screen as the Council and the rest of the U.N. system try to cover-up their support for Qaddafi all these years.The Council has two obvious flaws. Number one it has a standing agenda that governs all of its operations, with ten items on it. One is dedicated to condemning the state of Israel and one is for the remaining 191 UN countries that it might be interested in should it ever decide there was another “human rights situations that require[d] the Council’s attention.” The singular effort to use its so-called human rights system to demonize the Jewish state has been a roaring success. Half of its special sessions on specific countries and half of all its resolutions and decisions critical of any state condemn Israel alone.When the President Obama joined the Council it promised that changing the discriminatory agenda would be their first priority. On Thursday, we discovered, it was a hoax. The review process has been going on in the context of a working group of all interested members of the U.N. The working group adopted its report on Thursday by consensus – with the U.S. present. And in the usual opaque U.N. language, the consensus report states: “The Council’s agenda and framework for programme of work are as is specified in the annex to Council resolution 5/1.” In plain English, that means business as usual, resolution 5/1 being the discriminatory agenda adopted in June 2007.The second obvious flaw with the Human Rights Council that Hillary is trying her hardest to paper over is its membership. How did Libya get on the Council in the first place? U.S. Ambassador John Bolton pointed out – when the U.S. voted against the General Assembly resolution that adopted the Council – that it had no membership criteria. The only requirement is this: “when electing members of the Council, Member States [of the U.N. General Assembly] shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.”The U.N. set up a lovely website where candidates can deposit their “pledges.” Here is what Libya pledged last May, which was just fine by the vast majority of members of the General Assembly. “The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights principles…including the right to direct participation in public life…The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has paid great attention to human rights over the past 30 years.” That statement was good enough to garner the votes of 155 of 188 UN members and to send Libya to the Council.But Libya was not alone. Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and company are all members of this morally bankrupt institution which Secretary Clinton is doing her damnedest to save.And then there’s this: On Friday, March 4, Iran – the country that buries women naked to their waist and then stones them to death for “adultery” – is going to take its seat as a full-fledged member of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.Hmmmm.......Is there any 'humanity' left?Read the full story here.
- HT:IsraelMatzav.Saudi Arabia sends tanks to Bahrain. Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm reports that Saudi Arabia has sent 'dozens' of tanks across its causeway into Bahrain. Eyewitnesses reported seeing "15 tank carriers carrying two tanks each heading towards Bahrain" along the 25-km King Fahd causeway, which links the small island nation of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.Protestors are mainly Shiites account for about 70% of the Bahraini population, but have long complained of discrimination and other abuses by the Sunni Khalifa dynasty that has ruled the tiny Gulf nation for more than two centuries.Hmmmm......I just saw the price of oil jump 1 $ a gallon.Read the full story here.
- HT:PersianToEnglish.Mousavi and Karroubi Transferred to Prison, Kaleme Reports.2009 Iranian Presidential candidates and leaders of Iran’s reformist opposition movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and their spouses Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi have been arrested and transferred to Heshmatiyeh prison in Tehran, according to the Kaleme website. Information on the time and date of the transfer is not yet available.The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran had remained silent on the recent restrictions on Mousavi and Karroubi until today when the General Prosecutor, Mohseni Eje’i released a statement to confirm the news of house arrest. He did not mention or make reference to the news of the prison transfer.According to Kaleme, the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi made repeated attempts to visit their parents but received no results or answers. Additionally, over the past few days, the lights in the Mousavi and Karroubi households were turned off.Kaleme explains that there is a possibility that the families of the reformist leaders were denied contact in order for the transfer location to be kept a secret.Yesterday, one of Mehdi Karroubi’s sons told Saham News that a neighbour confirmed to him that the security forces had transferred his father and mother to an undisclosed location. He said, “…I spoke with one of the neighbors who witnessed the transfer…” The neighbour reported that on late Thursday night, eight regime security vans were parked in the outside area of the building complex, and after a few minutes, the vans drove away.Hmmmm.....Stil nothing is heard from the 'Defender of the oppressed' Pres Obama, probably doesn't want to be caught meddling?Read the full story here.
- Syria - Syrian women protest price hikes.(Video) Opposition says local media did not cover demonstrations due to increased government supervision; photos of hooded opposition supporters spray-painting anti-Assad graffiti surface. Hundreds of Syrian women demonstrated in Damascus on Monday against the recent price hikes in the Arab country.Local media made almost no mention of the rally because, according to Syrian opposition websites, the regime in Damascus has enhanced its supervision over the press and has forcefully dispersed three demonstrations in the past few weeks.The websites said Syrian security forces disconnected telephone lines and deterred potential protestors. In addition, about a week ago authorities arrested a number of people for organizing a demonstration, while others were beaten while protesting outside the Libyan embassy in Damascus. The government even imposed a curfew to prevent such rallies from taking place.In addition, photos of hooded people spray-painting graffiti against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime have surfaced over the past few days.Hmmmmm......Read and see the full story here.
- Somehow time travel is possible in Iran?Basij Commander: U.S. Should Withdraw From Region –So It Can Fight Seceding Southern U.S. States.At a memorial ceremony for martyrs, Iranian Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi called on the U.S. to withdraw its forces from the region so that it will be free to deal with the demand by six southern states that lost in the Civil War to secede and to fight the federal government. He said that he does not fear personal sanctions, because he has no property, and that even if he did, he wouldn't have invested it somewhere unsafe like the U.S.Hmmmm.....Gen Ulysses Grant will be glad with the reinforcements?Read the full story here.
- Gorbachev: Time limited for Putin.Former Soviet leader says Russian prime minister should not return to the Kremlin in next year's presidential election.Russian elder statesman Mikhail Gorbachev has said Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, should not stand again for the presidency amid speculation he is planning a return to the Kremlin in 2012.In comments published on Wednesday on the former Soviet leader’s 80th birthday, Gorbachev told Russia’s Argumenty i Fakty magazine that Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, the current president, needed to understand "their time is limited".Putin served two terms as president between 1999 and 2008 before being appointed prime minister by Medvedev, his successor and political ally.While Russia’s constitution forbids a leader from serving more than two consecutive terms, Putin could stand again in next year’s presidential election.But Gorbachev, who was the Soviet leader from 1985 until the collapse of the Communist government in 1991, said: “Vladimir Putin has already served two terms, and one more as prime minister. I would not run for president if I were in his place… People ... do not want to be a mass, a flock led for decades by the same shepherds."Putin has been accused of rolling back the advances towards democracy and human rights begun under Gorbachev and continued in the 1990s.In comments last month, Gorbachev said Putin’s United Russia party reminded him of the Communist Party and described Russian democracy as an "imitation".“We have everything - a parliament, courts, a president and a prime minister, but these all are to a larger extent an imitation,” Gorbachev said.Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize winner lent his support to a new political movement called Civic Dialogue, headed by prominent human-rights defendants and other public figures.Hmmmm.....Read the full story here.
- HT:PersianToEnglish.Recap of Opposition Protests in Iran on March 1st.On March 1st, brave and persistent Iranian civilians once again protested in the main cities of the country against the dictatorship government system that has ruled them for the past three decades. Gatherings and clashes were reported in Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tehran, and Rasht. Persian2English has recapped the protest events that unfolded today in Iran and also included reports on international support.Today’s civilian protests in Iran were organized by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two head figures of the reformist opposition movement in Iran. The most recent news from opposition websites indicates that the two men have been captured by the Islamic Republic of Iran officials and are held in Tehran’s Heshmatiyeh prison. Their families have not been able to contact them for the past two weeks and no other sources have information on Mousavi’s and Karroubi’s conditions. Also, no officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have confirmed the news of the arrests.Last night, Mohammad Marandi, the unofficial propaganda mouthpiece for the Islamic Republic of Iran told CNN, “Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi are seen by the vast majority of people to have, gone way too far, caused riots, [and] effectively accepted the backing of the United States, terrorist organizations like the Mujahedin Khalgh, Monrachists. And this is something in Iran that is just unacceptable.”SOLIDARITY WITH IRAN PROTEST IN TORONTO, CANADA.Torontonians gathered at Mel Lastman Square late Monday afternoon until early evening in solidarity with the Iranian people’s protests scheduled for the next day. The event was organized by the United Student Front in Canada. Protesters held signs that read: “No to the Islamic Republic of Iran”, “Free political prisoners”, “Please, Canada, raise your voice. Speak out even louder against executions in Iran”, and “We are countless”. The gathered protesters chanted, “Marg bar dictator”, “Free political prisoners”, “Freedom for Iran”, and “Release Mousavi and Karroubi”. They also sang a few revolutionary songs together.Read the full story here.
- Jordan - Calls mount for constitutional monarchy in Jordan.Under which the king does not ‘rule’.Calls for a constitutional monarchy in Jordan are growing as the government tries to clinch a vote confidence, while the Islamist opposition plans a pro-reform demonstration on Friday.Nationalists and independent Islamists have formed a commission for what they call a "Constitutional Monarchy Initiative" and have published their first declaration Monday on Facebook.The 24-member group insists that "the solution for Jordan is to move to a constitutional monarchy under which the king does not rule.""The king must remain a reference, a balance between different powers and a security guarantor," they said in the statement.The main opposition party the Islamic Action Front (IAF) said on Tuesday it is studying "a national framework that will include all the initiatives of various political groups," according to leading member Zaki Bani Rsheid.He said the IAF, the political arm of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, calls for "constitutional amendments" and for reforming the electoral law, leading to a parliamentary government and elected prime minister.Under the constitution, the king names and dismisses prime ministers."We will study all proposals and try to unify the ideas," Bani Rsheid told AFP.King Abdullah II sacked the government of Samir Rifai last month, and named Bakhit as the head of a cabinet tasked with introducing general reforms after pro-reform protests erupted in the kingdom in January."The government is not serious about its program. Waiting until the end of the year to amend the electoral law is unacceptable because it is against popular demands," Bani Rsheid said.The IAF "has given the government one month to implement reforms," he said."We will continue our protests. We expect 20,000 people to take part in our planned demonstration on Friday in Amman, in addition to similar activities in other parts of the country," he added.And "we will increase our demands and pressure if the government keeps stalling," he warned.Hmmmm......Once you feed the 'Crocodile' it wants more and more untill you cease to excist!Read the full story here.