Saturday, March 5, 2011
- The volatile Lybian situation live streams here.
Live Blog Libya - Al Jazeera. here.
- Turkey ....the go-between for Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood?Turkish president says strong army no guarantee for strong Egypt.Turkish President Abdullah Gül has delivered a message to Egypt’s new military rulers that a strong army is no guarantee for a strong country, during his critical visit to Cairo. ‘The council should aim for a strong Egypt,” says President Gül, strongly emphasizing democracy.Gül, whose visit comes after Ankara’s several telephone conversations with the Obama administration and who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, held talks with a wide range of political groups in Egypt. He met with the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, as well as the political reform campaigner opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei.“We convey the same message to every party: Everyone should work in unity for the transition process to take place healthily. Every party should listen to the people,” said the Turkish diplomat when asked about the president’s messages to Muslim Brotherhood.“Every party should channel the country’s internal dynamics for the welfare of the people. That was also the message conveyed to Tunisia,” the diplomat stated.He said Obama’s frequent telephone calls to the Turkish government demonstrated Washington valued Turkey’s views regarding the region and it wanted to utilize the Turkish experience to its benefit.“Turkey is not developing policies just because the United States wants her to do so. Turkey’s reasonable policies might be inspiring Washington,” said Dinçer.Boztemur said he did not believe Washington asked Turkey to play a role in Egypt’s transition process. "The U.S. has many channels for access to Egypt. Some 40,000 members of the Egyptian army have been trained in the U.S.," he said.Hmmmm......Turkey ....The worst violator of Human rights.....the go-between for Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood?Read the full story here.
- Turkey - PM Erdoğan asks Ford to expand Turkey output.Holding a meeting with Alan Mullaly, the chief executive of Ford Motors, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asks from the automotive giant to invest more in its Turkey production. Erdoğan has expressed his wish for Ford to produce passenger vehicles, as well as commercial vehicles, in Turkey, according to Industry Minister Nihat Ergün.Erdoğan told Mullaly that Ford should shift at least one passenger car production to its Turkish facility in Gölcük, a district of Kocaeli, according to Minister Ergün. “Ford should not consider Turkey only as the production center of the Transit Connect commercial vehicle,” Erdoğan told the Ford CEO, according to Ergün.Ford is set to make $650 million additional investment in its Gölcük facility and establish an engine facility worth $350 million, Ergün also said. “Ford is active in commercial vehicles in the Turkish market. We wanted them to design a new model in passenger cars.”A total of 510,000 vehicles are sold in the domestic market annually, but only 150,000 of this figure is produced in Turkey, Ergün said, adding that some 360,000 vehicles are imported. “This situation is not satisfying for Turkish consumers,” he said. “We want Ford to invest in Turkey in the passenger car area. Ford should produce one of its brands in Turkey. If we predict that the Turkish automobile market would reach 1 million units per year, the company that invests in Turkey will be grabbing a serious opportunity.Hmmmm......Obamanomics in action fire American workers to create jobs in Turkey!Read the full story here.
- Homeland Security Considering Portable, Instant DNA Scanners.A portable, breadbox-sized scanner could map out your body's DNA in less than an hour -- and the Feds want it added to the agency's tool bag.The device is being studied in the research-and-development wing of the Department of Homeland Security, which provided a special small-business contract to Network Biosystems (or NetBio) to build it. The agency will use the scanner at first on asylum seekers and refugees -- but civil liberties guardians warned that the device has explosive potential for misuse.Sources at DHS assure FoxNews.com that evaluation of the DNA-screening technology will occur only after the department sets privacy and civil liberties safeguards -- a vitally important step to protect such highly personal information, insisted John Verdi, senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center."If it were used for routine criminal investigations, it would raise the specter of a national DNA database," Verdi told FoxNews.com. "There are a lot of legal and constitutional hurdles that would have to be overcome for it to be lawfully used."For example, DHS must take care to dispose of the information it gleans from a DNA scanning search once that information has fulfilled its purpose, Verdi said.And that's a white-hot issue in the public's mind, given the outcry over the advanced X-ray devices deployed by the Transportation Security Administration last November. Air travelers shouting "don't touch my junk" probably wouldn't be thrilled with a DHS agency scanning their DNA instead.Indeed, the TSA felt compelled to make a preemptive statement after word of the device emerged. Curtis Burns stressed on the company's blog that the scanner is for use by a TSA sister agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which plans to use it to test for family relationships for foreigners applying for asylum or refugee status."TSA is not testing and has no plans to use any technology capable of testing DNA," Burns wrote.Use in asylum cases is one thing. The true risk of the device lies in its sheer convenience, especially if the size and speed of the DNA scanner make state and local law enforcement agencies seek its use on a routine basis for everyday criminal cases, Verdi warned.We'll find out shortly.DHS spokesman Chris Ortman told FoxNews.com the agency expects to test a prototype of the rapid DNA screener this summer."The DHS Science and Technology Directorate expects to receive a prototype DNA analyzer device this summer to conduct a preliminary evaluation of whether this kind of technology could be considered for future use," Ortman told FoxNews.com. He was quick to caution that there are no clear plans for the device's usage."At this time, there are no DHS customers, nor is there a timeline for deployment, for this kind of technology -- this is simply a preliminary test of how the technology performs," Ortman said.In award notices and its fiscal 2012 budget documents, DHS revealed that $100,000 was awarded to NetBio for development of the device, which analyzes DNA through a process known as short tandem repeat (STR).Hmmmm.....In combination with the 'hummingbird' spy-drone bird who's native to the American continent it will certainly serve to keep track of the civilian population?Read the full story here.
- HT:ThePoliticalCommentator.Saturday caption contest: Commander in Chief or....? What is going through these soldiers minds?The need for some cojones in Libya.I wrote "The need for some international cojones in Libya!" yesterday after weeks of the Obama administration's handling, or more accurately non-handling of the Middle East crisis.Specifically the article discussed statements that President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates had recently made about Libya, implementation of a no-fly zone and war in general. Soon after writing that I saw a tape of the President getting on Air Force One, giving the customary salute to the soldiers at the foot of the stairs as the Commander in Chief of our nation when it struck me.What is going through these soldiers minds as they salute?I present below an incomplete list of the messages sent and decisions put forth by this President and his administration over the past 2+ years.Hmmmmm........Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) Read the full story here.
- Iran - Human rights report: Concerns of torture for two missing opposition heads.International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – Iranian officials should immediately end the illegal, incommunicado detention of four leading opposition figures: Mehdi Karroubi; Mir Hossein Mousavi; Fatemeh Karroubi; and Zahra Rahnavard, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.The Campaign warns that the incommunicado nature of their eighteen day long detention in an undisclosed location increases the likelihood that the four are facing psychological and physical torture for the purposes of extracting false confessions.“Arbitrary and incommunicado detention in unknown locations is often associated with torture and ill treatment, and even extrajudicial execution in Iran,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.“Time and again opposition figures in Iran are detained without contact with their families or lawyers, only to undergo abuse and appear on TV weeks later confessing to baseless charges,” he said.Iranian intelligence and security services have a well-established track record of relying on torture against opponents to extract false confessions while held in incommunicado detention.Mousavi and Karroubi’s children have had no access to their parents and are extremely concerned about their well-being and health. In a statement issued today, Mousavi’s daughters said they attempted to visit their parents on the evening of 2 March in their home, but were turned away by guards.Authorities have been holding Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Fatemeh Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard incommunicado and have deprived them of their liberties since 14 February, when thousands of Iranians joined protests for which the opposition leaders had called. Several sources are reporting that all four have been transferred to either Heshmatiyeh Prison in Tehran, or to an undisclosed third location. Yet Iran’s Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, told the semi-official ISNA news agency on 28 February that, “published news by some hostile media regarding the transfer of Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi to the Heshmatiyeh detention center is false.”Ejei claimed that the four leaders are confined in their homes and prohibited from communication with the outside world, including their family members. “Judicial action has been taken [against Mousavi and Karroubi], ultimatums have been issued … In the first step, their communications, including their comings and goings, and their telephone conversations have been restricted, and if need be, other steps will be taken,” Ejei said to ISNA.On 2 March, Tehran’s chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, who was designated among a group of Iranian officials to be blacklisted and sanctioned for their human rights violations by the US government, also claimed that, “using the term house arrest is not correct.”The International Campaign for Human Right in Iran stresses that regardless of the location of the detentions, authorities are violating the due process rights of the detainees as they are being held, for weeks now, without formal arrest or charge, and without access to their families and lawyers.Several sources living in Mousavi and Karroubi’s neighborhoods told the Campaign that they are no longer inside their homes and have been transferred.The UN Commission on Human Rights stated in 2005 that, “prolonged incommunicado detention or detention in secret places may facilitate the perpetration of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and can in itself constitute a form of such treatment.”The UN International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance makes clear that a disappearance “is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State … followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”Iranian law requires that authorities inform a detainee of charges against them within twenty-four hours of their arrest and allow them access to legal counsel, but allows judges to deprive detainees of a lawyer until the investigation is deemed complete.“Iranian authorities are clearly writing their own rules as they proceed, which absolutely contradicts the rule of law,” Ghaemi said.“Under these circumstances, anything could be happening to the four disappeared leaders,” he added.The Campaign holds Iranian authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of the four opposition figures.Hmmmm......Off course nothing is heard from the defender of liberty and the oppressed?Read the full story here.
- Immigration Wars: More States Looking at Arizona-Style Laws.Undocumented nannies, housekeepers or lawn caretakers in the state of Texas can perhaps breathe easier about deportation. While new legislation in the Texas House of Representatives would make it a state crime to hire undocumented workers, it excludes those employed in single-family households -- in other words, them.The bill, introduced by state GOP Rep. Debbie Riddle, is the first of its kind in the country. It's unique in that while it appeases those who want more stringent immigration laws, it doesn't subject Texas households to the rule that would mainly apply to businesses and large employers. Critics of the bill say it's hypocritical. Supporters charge it's needed in a state where the Hispanic population continues to climb swiftly. Though it remains stuck in political limbo, the bill reflects a wider push toward implementing tougher anti-immigration laws at the state level. More than 100 immigration-related bills are pending in the Texas legislature alone, including those that would give state and local police officers the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, make English the official language and prevent undocumented students from getting in-state tuition and scholarships. States across the country, including Georgia and Oklahoma, where the legislatures debated immigration bills this week, have been mulling controversial Arizona-style immigration laws.Thirty-seven states are considering tougher immigration bills, with multiple bills pending in some states."The mere fact that Arizona law has sprung up in over 24 other states within a few months of passage, I believe, is historic," said William Gheen, president and spokesman of Americans for Legal Immigration, a group that supports stricter immigration laws. "We are going to pass more immigration enforcement legislation in the states in 2011 than any year prior. And what we don't get done in 2011 we will get done in 2012," he vowed.Hmmmmm........."Remember the Alamo"?Read the full story here.
- HT:Politico.House Republican Wants Investigation of Common Cause.Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wants Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the liberal group Common Cause should lose its nonprofit status, after a conservative website published footage of protesters calling for the lynching of conservative Supreme Court justices.The footage shows enraged protesters making inflammatory and threatening comments about Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas.Gohmert said that the inflammatory remarks are more troubling given the attack on Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords earlier this year.“We shouldn’t have any organization, especially one that says it’s nonpartisan, out there stirring up hatred and animosity to the point that people would say, “Let’s string up a justice of the Supreme Court as well as his wife,” Gohmert said.Rep. Steve King, a Republican who joined Gohmert in his condemnation of the group, said the protesters are part of a larger effort to smear the justices’ reputations.“This is an organized attempt of media lynching of Justice Thomas,” he said.Another protester encouraged mutilating the justice, saying that those who disagree with his conservative background should “cut off his toes one by one and feed them to him.”Hmmmm......Sounds more and more like 1939 Germany.Read the full story here.
- HT:BigGovernment.BOMB THREAT at Scott Walker News Conference–Leftist Protester Arrested!Far Left protester Patrick J. Knauf, 43, of Eau Claire was arrested on Wednesday for the violation of making a bomb scare under state statute 947.015.He was released on a $3,000 signature bond.On Wednesday a bomb threat was made at an aviation business in Eau Claire just hours after Governor Scott Walker spoke there. Police brought in a man who was protesting this week against the Republican governor.An investigation continues into a bomb threat made this week at an aviation business in Eau Claire, just hours after Governor Scott Walker held a news conference there.Authorities said a 43-year-old Eau Claire man allegedly called in a threat to Heartland Aviation on Wednesday evening. The facility is next to the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in Eau Claire. The man is free on a signature bond. No charges have been filed yet, but the man is due back in Chippewa County Circuit Court on April 19th.Investigators said the man took part in public demonstrations at the airport on Monday and Wednesday. His home was searched yesterday, and police are checking phone records and interviewing people. Eau Claire Police have asked for tips with more information.Amazing!A bomb threat was called in on a Walker rally and the media doesn’t report on it?Hmmmm......Move along, nothing to see here?Read the full story here.
- Abbas: Time for Palestine in UN.In joint press conference with Chilean counterpart, Palestinian president reiterates his objection to interim agreement with Israel. Pinera: Palestinians should have their own state, freedom of movement.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reiterated his objection to the initiative to launch negotiations for an interim peace agreement with Israel."We know there was an idea in the past to establish a state within temporary borders, and if this idea is raised again – we won't accept it," Abbas said. He added that it was time to establish a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, which would join the United Nations in September.Hmmmm.....Obama....."It's Israel's fault",but next time i'll vote for the Palestinians when it counts?Read the full story here.
- HT:BigPeace.Where Are The Moderate Muslims?Who represents “Moderate Muslims”? What do Moderate Muslims believe and how is it different from what Islamists believe?Dr. Zuhdi Jasser will be testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee on the radicalization of Muslim communities next week. An American patriot who believes in freedom of religion, he is a friend of Frank Gaffney and Secure Freedom Radio. As Dr. Jasser’s credibility as a Muslim is already under attack from Muslim Brotherhood fronts and the radical left (in the form of Soros-funded Media Matter), Frank had a few things to say about it.Hmmmm.......Have you ever seen an unicorn?Read and hear the full story here.
- Turkey - Two arrested in Turkey over alleged plot to kill Christian.Turkish anti-terrorism police have arrested two men suspected of plotting to kill a Christian religious figure in Istanbul, the Anatolia news agency reported Saturday. They were picked up in a raid on an apartment in Gaziosmanpasa, a working-class district on the European side of the city, the report said, adding that police seized two pistols.Several violent and sometimes lethal attacks have targeted Christians in mainly Muslim Turkey in recent years.Last year a 26-year-old Turk was convicted of the stabbing death of the then head of the Catholic Church in Turkey, Luigi Padovese.Hmmmm.....anyone willing to wager which religion they follow?Read the full story here.
- Russia blasts US for pushing to deploy missile defense in Poland.Moscow has demanded an explanation from the US about its plans to station an air force base with F-16 fighters and build a missile defense system in Poland. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has confirmed Washington’s intention to deploy a rotating US squadron of F-16s in Poland. Last December, leaders of the two countries announced the plans to establish a new permanent US air detachment. The US also intends to “build missile defenses in Poland,” Clinton said after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.The previous administration of President George Bush was planning to deploy elements of its missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. President Barack Obama scrapped the plans, but nevertheless promised to expand co-operation with Poland in missile defense and air defense areas.Clinton made it clear that NATO countries support the new US plans regarding Poland. However, Russia will oppose any moves to deploy air detachments in that country. Washington and Warsaw are continuing military co-operation “despite their reset of the relations with Russia that took place last year,” Kommersant daily said, citing Russian diplomats.It is not known when Washington will start deploying the squadron of F-16s. But the plan will complicate US talks with Russia about the creation of a joint European missile shield, Moscow’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said. Even now the prospects of such talks do not look bright, he told the paper.President Dmitry Medvedev and US Vice President Joseph Biden may discuss the deployment of F-16s on March 9. Anyway, the issue “will not be left without Russia's most close attention,” Rogozin warned.The idea of deploying an air base in Poland was first mentioned by US military officials in March 2009. However, the White House did not announce the plans until quite recently.Hmmmmm....."It was first mentioned in 2009"another Obama 'brainchild'?Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Following Invitation From Egyptian Tourism Minister, Oprah To Host Live Show From Al-Tahrir Square.According to an Alarabiya.net report, the well-known American talk show host Oprah Winfrey is to air a live episode from Al-Tahrir Square in Cairo, that will focus mainly on Egypt’s January 25 revolution. Egypt's newly appointed minister of tourism, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, who announced a new initiative to bring to Egypt the world’s most famous actors, actresses and media figures in an attempt to revive and boost the country’s tourism industry that took a beating in the unrest, said that Winfrey has accepted his invitation without any hesitation.Hmmmm......Obama ....Oprah......"Let's meet the Muslim Brotherhood"in your diningroom?Read the full story here.
- Putin accuses BP of misleading him over Rosneft deal.MOSCOW — BP's historic alliance with Russia's state oil giant Rosneft hit a rough patch on Friday when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the British firm of misleading him going into the deal.The $16 billion share-swap and Arctic exploration agreement was announced with much fanfare by the Russian government in January and was soon followed by a similar agreement between Rosneft and the US oil major Exxon Mobil.The Kremlin has billed the tie-up as confirmation of the West's continued interest in Russia despite criticism of its investment climate and treatment of Rosneft's one-time private rival Yukos -- now disbanded and its founder jailed. But BP found a source of unlikely revolt when its Russian joint venture TNK-BP -- the country's third-largest oil firm and one of the world's top 10 private producers -- tried to put a halt to the deal in a London court.The Russian billionaire owners of the joint venture feared that the deal could mark the end of their own company and argued that it violated the TNK-BP shareholders agreement.A top Putin deputy said last month that Russia remained confident that the deal with BP would go through because the British firm had given Moscow "all the necessary assurances".But Putin voiced clear frustration with BP's boardroom problems on Friday and accused its management of giving the Russian government false assurances prior to the Rosneft deal's announcement.He said neither BP nor its Russian venture "had informed Rosneft about the fact that they might have some sort of problems.""I, for example, had absolutely no idea," news agencies quoted Russia's former president and current de facto leader as saying."When I met with the management of BP, they did not say a word about it."Putin then delivered BP another blow by noting that he was open to the idea of TNK-BP itself taking part in joint Arctic exploration projects with Russia's biggest oil firm."We have adopted a law that entrusts (Arctic) shelf work to Rosneft and Gazprom," news agencies quoted Putin as saying."If TNK offers one of these companies suitable conditions, then why not? Of course," Putin added.Those comments came only hours after TNK-BP confirmed that it was now looking to take BP's place in the Rosneft deal.Various Western press reports said that TNK-BP's management was willing to pay BP $7.6 billion in cash for its place in the $16 billion Rosneft share-swap and Arctic exploration agreement.But the London Financial Times reported this week that Rosneft had a sceptical view of the joint venture's attempt to take BP's place in the deal.TNK-BP said it will hold a board meeting in Paris on March 12 to discuss the proposal.January's agreement would give Rosneft five percent of BP?s ordinary voting shares in exchange for approximately 9.5 percent of Rosneft?s stock.BP and Rosneft have also agreed to explore and develop Rosneft's three licensed blocks on the Arctic continental shelf -- a 125,000 square kilometre (50 square mile) region said to contain five billion tonnes of oil and 3.0 trillion cubic metres of gas.Hmmmmm...... "У Bac есть крыша"?Read the full story here.
- HT:shtfplan.Insider Report: US Government Will Confiscate Gold When It Touches $2000.It’s no secret that the US government is broke, the US dollar is crashing and losing credibility globally, and the IMF, China, France and others have publicly stated their desire to eliminate the dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency. The IMF, for example, recently issued a call to replace the Federal Reserve’s fiat paper, ironically suggesting that it should be replaced with yet another synthetic instrument known as the SDR, or Special Drawing Right. The SDR is essentially a monetary unit made up of a basket of other global monetary units that include the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. Incidentally, prior to the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold-backed US dollar monetary system in 1973, the SDR was actually ‘backed by gold,’ with one SDR being worth roughly 0.88 grams of gold, or at the time, $1 US dollar.It’s been suggested that a new SDR, which would likely include the Chinese Yuan within the basket, may also require some non-synthetic units of exchange such as gold.We’ve learned from well known metals analyst and commentator Roger Wiegand, in an email to silver analyst David Morgan which was subsequently published in Morgan’s latest Silver Investor newsletter available only to subscribers, that several of Wiegand’s high level inside sources have reported that the puppeteers behind the US government, in order to facilitate a move into a new world currency are considering, or may have already begun moving forward with, a plan to confiscate gold and silver from the American public.We’ve previously commented on the possibility of gold confiscation and other steps that may be taken by our financier controlled government in the event that gold does reach certain thresholds. Reaching these new thresholds, for example $2000 or $5000 per ounce, would suggest that the US dollar has likely crashed or begun a final collapse into oblivion, at which point, all credibility for this unit of exchange will have been lost in the eyes of the rest of the world.We cannot, however, dismiss outright the suggestion that precious metals will be physically confiscated from the people. The reasoning behind the 1933 confiscation and ban on owning gold until the mid 1970′s was primarily because the US dollar was backed by gold. One US dollar represented a specific amount of gold, 0.888 grams in fact. Today, no such backing exists, and gold has been called a relic of the past by modern day monetary experts.However, if the IMF gets its wish, and it very well may if the US dollar’s long term plunge continues unabated, then gold will become a part of the new world reserve currency unit, currently being referred to as the SDR. With the passage of President Obama’s health care bill, the American people found out, after the fact as usual, of the new 1099 requirements which will force gold/silver merchants to declare all precious metals transactions over $600. Thus, the mechanism for tracking and taxing even small cash transactions has already been put into place.So, if you’ve taken our past advice and hold physical precious metals, we recommend looking into some creative ways of making sure they don’t exist if someone ever comes knocking.Hmmmm.......The Saudis think that if Gold gets to 1500$ that it has reached it's actual real value.Read the full story here.
- HT:CrossroadsArabia.Saudi Arabia - Chikungunya at the Border.Arab News reports that Saudi Arabia is taking precautions to thwart the movement of chikungunya across the Yemeni border into the Kingdom. The disease is usually non-fatal, but debilitating, with arthritis-like symptoms lasting for up to years in the elderly. Children, luckily, seem only to have fevers that last a matter of weeks. In Yemen, however, it is seen as the cause of 65 deaths recently.The article says there is still some dispute about the diagnosis. According to the Wikipedia article, chikungunya is similar to several equine encephalitises. Those are endemic to East Africa, just across the narrow Red Sea from Yemen. Equine encephalitis, in addition to affecting horses as its name suggests, has a 35% mortality rate among humans, with no cure yet discovered.The disease is mosquito-borne, like malaria and dengue fever. That means that the tools necessary to contain its spread are already in the Saudi public health arsenal. Those tools, especially the spraying of insecticides, will need to be used promptly. The Saudi provinces bordering Yemen, such as Jizan, are among the poorer areas in the country. They lag in infrastructure development, so it is likely that public health assets will need to be moved into the region. The major cities of Taif, Jeddah, and Mecca, however, are along a northern route. None of them needs an epidemic.Read the full story here.
- HT:GroundReport.Iranian Factory Workers Say We Are Hungry. TEHRAN, IRAN--- During a recent speech in Khoramabad, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a surprise dose of reality: There are hungry people in Iran. A group of factory workers showed up to the President’s speech carrying a sign that said “We the workers of Parsilon [factory] are hungry”.Ahmadinejad stated on other occasions that since the 1979 revolution, “"Iran is among the few countries in the world where no one goes to bed hungry." In 2009, the Iranian President told a group of reporters that before the 1979 revolution, 95% of the Iranian population lived in total poverty under the Shah.The President’s statements are contradicted by Iran’s own official statistics. According to the country’s center for statistics, about 30 million Iranians live at or below the poverty line.According to the government, Iran’s official unemployment rate is about 11 percent. But among the unemployed, the younger Iranians carry the biggest burden as the government has been unable to create enough jobs to accommodate the country’s relatively young workforce.In real terms, Iran has had little or no per capita income growth since the Islamic revolution. Although the country’s cleric led government insists otherwise, Iran’s per capita income growth was zero between 1980 and 2005. Any rise in the country’s per capita income since 2005 was due to higher oil prices. But the growth has been negligible nonetheless.The lack of human capital, institutional infrastructure, and continuous brain drain make development of a free market economy difficult in Iran.Although the Islamic revolution brought with it a new form of government and a new political ideology, the revolution did nothing to brighten the economic future of the Iranian people.Read the full story here.
"Religion does not require women to veil their hands, feet and faces or enjoy in any special type of veil. Tribal custom must not impose itself on the free will of the individual."
Amanullah Khan - King of Afghanistan (1919-1929).
The head of Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni world.“The niqab is a tradition and has nothing to do with Islam,” said Sheikh Tantawi, vowing to ban it in Al-Azhar schools.“The niqab is a tradition and has nothing to do with Islam.”After the girl complied he insisted she should not wear it any more.“I tell you again that the niqab has nothing to do with Islam and it is only a mere custom. I understand the religion better than you and your parents.” The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar imam vowed to issue a ban against the face-veil in all schools linked to Al-Azhar.“Source .
HT for the video : Always On Watch.
- The volatile Lybian situation live streams here.
Live Blog Libya - Al Jazeera. here.
- Vengeance from the libyan sky.Libyan Air Force Could Be Gadhafi's Trump Card.Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has always paid special attention to his air force, staffing it with his most loyal followers and supplying it with the best training and equipment. The recent bombing raids in Brega might just be a small foretaste of the overwhelming punch his air power can deliver.Although a large part of Libya's army has defected and joined the rebel forces, its air force appears to have remained almost completely loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. Indeed, it is one of the main factors still propping up the regime and the most serious threat to the insurgents who control the eastern part of the country.Libya's air force is made up of roughly 18,000 men and women, most of whom are staunch supporters of the regime. The elite military branch recruited from followers who were 100 percent loyal to the regime, and members of Gadhafi's Gadhadfa tribe and its closely allied Magariha tribe were given preference during the selection process for recruits. They have shown a blind obedience to their commander in chief. Only a handful of pilots and officers have switched sides to join the opposition.In return for their loyalty, Gadhafi has always made sure that members of the air force received the best training and equipment. The fighter wing is reportedly made up of roughly 100 MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighter jets as well as 15 Mirage F-1 and 40 SU-22 planes. The arms depots are thought to be filled to the rafters with munitions. The planes' missiles are from the arsenals of the former Soviet Union or of more recent Russian makes, according to a report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report also states that Libya's air-defense system is very well equipped. As Lieutenant-General David Deptula, who recently retired from his position as an air force expert at the Pentagon, told Britain's The Economist, if the West decides to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, the country's surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) could present a serious danger to Allied jets. Even if Gadhafi has appeared somewhat mentally unstable during his recent televised appearances, Joshi believes Gadhafi's tactical maneuvers do not show "the decision-making of a man totally out of touch with reality."Libya could now be facing civil war. If Gadhafi should decide to continue fighting, the rebels' chances of victory are slim, argues Yehudit Ronen, a Libya expert at Israel's Bar-Ilan University. "The anti-Gadhafi alliance can only rely on the soldiers who have defected," Ronen says. Even if these soldiers were reinforced by volunteers, she adds, they would be facing an almost invincible enemy: the air force and the mercenaries, who have nothing to lose. Ronen predicts that the fighting will last a long time and that, afterwards, Libya "will no longer be like it once was."Hmmmmm.......One thing is for sure he is not a 'community organiser'.Read the full story here.
- Breaking News : Russia - Six dead as An-148 plane crashes in southern Russia.All six people on board were killed when an Antonov An-148 airplane on a trial flight crashed at 1040 Moscow time Saturday in the village of Garbuzovo in Belgorod region, an emergencies ministry spokesman said.Two test pilots were among the dead. No-one on the ground was killed, according to the local Emergencies Ministry.The aircraft, which belonged to the Voronezh Aircraft Plant, was being tested prior to delivery to Burma, which ordered two last year for government use, and at least two of those on board were Burmese nationals.Federal investigators are on their way to the crash scene, Russian Investigative Committee representative Vladimir Markin said."An investigative team from the Lipetsk region, which is the nearest to the crash site is en route," Markin said.There have been five serious technical incidents involving the aircraft, including landing gear and control system malfunctions.Read the full story here.
- Breaking News - Scores killed in mosque attack during prayers in Pakistan.Some 9 people have been killed by an explosion at a mosque in northern Pakistan during Friday prayers, according to official reports, which added that a further 33 people had been injured. The attack on the mosque occurred as hundreds of worshippers inside the building were partaking of Friday prayers, the most significant day of the week in Islam. The blast in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, in the village of Akbar Pura in Nowhera district killed the worshippers as food was being distributed, according to police reports. It is unclear who perpetrated the attack, although authorities have suggested it was likely one of the Islamist insurgent groups operating in Pakistan.Source.
- Gaddafi forces break rebel lines in Zawiya.Forces loyal to Libya's longtime leader enter opposition-held city after overcoming rebel positions with heavy mortar shelling, machinegun fire. 'We're seeing battles and killings we haven't seen in Iraq. I consider it total genocide,' eyewitness says.Muammar Gaddafi's forces on Saturday broke through rebel lines at an opposition-held city that is closest to Tripoli, in a dawn attack that could prove crucial to the regime's defense of the Libyan capital, witnesses said. They said the forces loyal to the country's longtime leader were inside Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, after overcoming rebel positions with heavy mortar shelling and machinegun fire. They said the shelling damaged government buildings and homes.The forces fired from tanks at residential areas, Arabic satellite channels reported. "Now with all the artillery, tanks and armored vehicles, we're seeing battles and killings we haven't seen in Iraq. I consider it total genocide," said one witness who spoke to Al-Arabiya television."The battles have now entered the city. More than 15 armored vehicles entered two hours ago along with a tank. There is heavy firing in all the areas and mosques have announced 'jihad' against these brigades," the man told Al-Arabiya.The hours-long attack started at dawn and the rattle of gunfire and explosions could be heard as the witnesses spoke to The Associated Press by phone. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safety. "We will fight them on the streets and will never give up so long as Gaddafi is still in power," said one of the rebel fighters, who also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals."Hmmmm......Let's see what the community organiser does?Read the full story here.
- HT:TranslatingJihad.Saudi Cleric: Gaddafi Is Not a Muslim.On the heels of allegations that Gaddafi is secretly a Jew, which has become a huge story all over Arab press, comes this accusation from a Saudi cleric that Gaddafi is not a Muslim.Riyadh: Days after reports were published regarding the Libyan leader coming from Jewish descent, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, Shaykh Salih al-Luhaydan, declared Monday night that Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi is not a Muslim, describing him as ignorant, and a Bedouin. The electronic Saudi newspaper "Sabaq" transmitted from al-Luhaydan his denial of what was attributed to him by Libyan state television, regarding fatwas which prohibited attacking al-Gaddafi, with the purpose of stopping the bloodshed. He added that he does not think that "the government of al-Gaddafi is an Islamic government, because [al-Gaddafi] did not assume the position with the allegiance of the important leaders and religious people in the country, but rather came as a usurper, rebelling against those who came before him." He continued: "Al-Gaddafi ignored religious knowledge and denied the sayings of the Prophet, and said, 'The Qur'an is sufficient for us'." He also "rejected the companions [of the Prophet] and all of the Muslims." [Al-Luhaydan] pointed out that he is "a vulgar man, and an ignorant Bedouin, of military origins--he is not an Imam." Al-Luhaydan digressed, saying "This fitna, [which is causing so much] blood-shed, should cease." Al-Luhaydan spoke to the Libyans, saying "Zealously guard your security. But this man (al-Gaddafi) and his lackeys, if you can remove him without killing, that would be better." [...] (The rest of the article goes on to discuss the allegations that Gaddafi is a Jew.)Hmmmm......"In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain." Pliny the Elder.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia drafts in up to 10,000 troops ahead of protests.Saudi Arabia is drafting in up to 10,000 security forces to the north eastern Muslim Shia provinces ahead of mass protests planned next week.Desperate to avoid mass uprisings against the House of Saud, security forces have deployed in huge numbers across the region. King Abdullah is also reported to have told neighbouring Bahrain that if they do not put down their own ongoing Shia revolt, his own forces will. In response to the massive mobilisation, protesters are planning to place women on the front ranks to discourage Saudi forces from firing on them. In Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh set off a deadly battle for survival last night as he rejected an opposition peace proposal and ordered troops to fire on demonstrators, killing four. Efforts to suppress demonstrations by the key ally in the “war on terror” could jeopardise rising volumes of Western aid flooding into the country, diplomats warned. President Saleh rejected an opposition proposal that would have brought demonstrations to a standstill in return for a promise to step down by the end of the year. Yemeni troops used rockets and machineguns to attack demonstrators in the north of the country, killing four and injuring nine.Hmmmmmm.......The pressure in the 'Kettle'is building up, thank you for the 'good job' Mr President.Read the full story here.
- Saudi oil disruption is unlikely: bank.Unrest will not probably spread to Kingdom following massive social initiative.A major oil supply disruption in the world’s largest crude exporter Saudi Arabia is unlikely as the Gulf nation has sufficient financial resources to satisfy public needs and prevent unrest, a French bank said on Saturday.Credit Agricole said the current turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa showed that markets often overreact to crises, citing the surge in oil prices to their highest level since August 2008.“If we learned anything during the most recent financial crisis it is that markets can get it wrong. During the recent Egyptian crisis, oil prices spiked over concerns about the transhipment of oil via the Suez Canal….markets today are beginning to price contagion effects spreading from North Africa to, principally, Bahrain. Although it is hard to predict the political outcome in the Gulf island, markets are pricing a premium on the risk of contagion to neighbouring Saudi Arabia,” the Bank said in an article written by John Sfakiankis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF).“Aside from making any definite calls on the future outcome of Bahrain, we remain reassuring about Saudi Arabia. The chances of disruption to oil production remain distant as is the likelihood of major unrest.”It said Saudi Arabia’s ability to carry out “distributive” policies is obvious, particularly in areas that have important social significance.Hmmmm......With all due respect...i think they are dead wrong!Stop thinking as a banker and start thinking as an Islamic radical!Read the full story.
- Report: US favors reforms over uprisings.Wall Street Journal says Obama's administration settling on Middle East strategy that favors keeping long-time Arab allies who are willing to make positive changes in power, even if it means full democratic demands of citizens may have to wait.US President Barack Obama's administration is settling on a Middle East strategy that favors keeping long-time Arab allies who are willing to reform in power, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday. Citing unnamed officials and diplomats, the newspaper said the administration is leaning toward this approach even if that means the full democratic demands of Arab citizens might have to wait.Instead of pushing for immediate change – as it did in Egypt and now Libya – the United States is urging protesters from Bahrain to Morocco to work with existing rulers toward what some officials and diplomats are now calling "regime alteration," the report said.The moderate US approach has emerged after lobbying by Arab governments who were alarmed that Obama had abandoned Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, The Journal said.The Arab rulers were worried that, if Washington did the same to the king of Bahrain, a chain of revolts could sweep them from power too, the paper noted."What we have said throughout this is that there is a need for political, economic and social reform, but the particular approach will be country by country," The Journal quotes the unnamed official as saying.Hmmmmm..........Read the full story here.
- Iran: Islam opposes nukes.Development of nuclear weapons contradicts Iran's religious beliefs, foreign minister says.The development or use of nuclear weapons contradicts Iran's religious principles and would violate the tenets of Islam, the country's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Friday.In an interview with the Euronews channel in Germany, the minister dismissed Western claims that Tehran was working to acquire nukes. "Islamic Republic authorities have reiterated that nuclear arms are against the country's religious principals," he said. "We have been committed to the NPT and believe that the proliferation of a nuclear bomb is against the tenets of Islam." Salehi also claimed that Iran maintains a positive relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which he said closely monitors Iran's nuclear program. "We have very good relations with the IAEA which has been explicitly stated in agency's recent report. IAEA inspectors do their job regularly and their cameras are working non-stop," he said.Hmmmmm......."Following the Iranian revolution of 1979, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini is said to have issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons—some now claim he never uttered such words, while others claim his statement mysteriously disappeared. Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini, issued an anti-nuclear fatwa in September 2004. While sourced by a variety of Iranian authorities, the fatwa itself has yet to be officially released or found."( Source )Read the full story here.
- HT:IonaInstitute.By Tom O'Gorman.Christianity the reason for West's success, say the Chinese.In the West we are doing our best to destroy our Christian heritage but in China, Chinese intellectuals are coming around to the view that it is precisely this heritage that has made the West so successful.Former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Dominic Lawson, in a review in the Sunday Times of Niall Ferguson's new book, ‘Civilisation: The West and the Rest’, carries a quote from a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in which he tries to account for the success of the West, to date.He said: “One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world. “We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. “Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. “But in the past twenty years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. “The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”Note the source. It isn't from a religious leader, or some religious think-tank. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is an instrument of the Chinese Communist government which spends a not inconsiderable amount of time and money persecuting Christians and is officially atheistic.If this is the conclusion it has come to, maybe Europe needs to reconsider whether it mightn't be an idea to encourage rather than eradicate Christianity.Lawson refers to a quote in the book from a prominent Wenzhou business leader, a Mr Hanping Zhang, who argues that “an absence of trust had been one of the main factors holding China back; but he feels he can trust his fellow Christians because he knows that they will be honest in their dealings with him”.It has long been accepted that Christianity is one of the core elements of Western civilisation; it is too little understood that it is also one of the secrets of the stunning success of that civilisation.Hmmmm........And this my friends is the difference something called "Al-taqiyya" makes.Read the full story here.
- Sebelius Cracks! Admits the Obamacare Books Were Cooked.The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee invited Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to swing by and have a little chin wag about the budgetary implications of ObamaCare. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) noticed that the rather large sum of $500 billion was dedicated to both sustaining Medicare and funding ObamaCare. When he asked Sebelius which destiny awaited those five hundred billion clams, she replied, "Both."That's right, folks: another part of the ObamaCare fraud involved double-counting half a trillion dollars. Shimkus said he was "shocked" to learn this. "We knew the health care law's actual cost was much greater than originally told to the public," he declared. "And now, the truth is slowly coming out in administration reports and testimony." In other news, Shimkus was equally "shocked" to discover there was gambling going on at Rick's Café.Hmmmm......."Let me be clear"?Read the full story here.
- Federal Workforce Continues to Grow Under Obama Budget.Since the beginning of the last recession (December 2007) the private sector workforce has shrunk by 6.6% while shedding more than 7.5 million jobs. Over that same time period, the federal government workforce (excluding Census and Postal workers) has grown by 11.7% while adding 230,000 jobs.This trend has continued throughout the Obama Administration. Since President Barack Obama was sworn into office, the private sector workforce has shrunk by 2.6% while shedding 2.9 million jobs while the federal workforce (excluding Census and Postal workers) has grown by 7% while adding more than 144,000 jobs.Now, President Obama’s FY 2012 budget proposes adding even more people to the federal payroll. Specifically, the President wants to create an additional 15,000 federal government jobs including 4,182 additional Internal Revenue Service employees 1,054 of which will be needed to implement Obamacare alone.The problem with all these additional government jobs is that government spending does not create the economic growth needed to sustain private sector job growth.Hmmmm......Someone creating his own loyal 'pretorian' followers?Read the full story here.
- Al-Qaeda No. 2 calls for Islamic rule in Egypt.Ayman al-Zawahri warns Egyptians, Tunisians not to allow America install puppet regimes. Osama bin Laden's deputy is urging fellow Egyptians to establish Islamic rule after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. In an Internet audio message, Ayman al-Zawahri warns the "honest and free people" of Egypt and Tunisia not to allow America and others steal the fruits of their uprisings by allowing them to install puppet regimes.Meanwhile, authorities in Egypt said referendum on amendments to Egypt's constitution will take place on March 19. The Egyptian government issued the statement on its Facebook page, quoting the ruling Supreme Council for the Armed Forces.Hmmmm......Meanwhile the Obama administration promised 1,57 Billion Dollars to Egypt in 2012,go figure it?Read the full story here.
- Egypt's top archaeologist Zahi Hawass warns of looting,and states "I Quit"!Egypt's top archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, warned that the country's antiquity sites were being looted by criminals amid the country's political upheaval as he announced he would no longer serve in his ministerial post in the government.Hawass was quoted in the Friday editions of Cairo's dailies as saying he would not participate in the new government to be led by prime minister designate Essam Sharaf. Hawass, the longtime head of Egypt's antiquities office, was elevated to Cabinet-level antiquities minister on Jan. 31, when ousted President Hosni Mubarak named a new government led by longtime friend Ahmed Shafiq.Shafiq resigned Thursday amid calls by protesters for his removal, and Sharaf has been tasked with naming a new government.Hawass said he was no longer able to protect the country's antiquities because of what he called the absence of police protection and because he was the victim of a campaign against him by senior officials at his ministry.Egypt's antiquities, he warned, were in "grave danger" from criminals. He called on the youth groups behind the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down Feb. 11 to help protect antiquity sites."Since Mubarak's resignation, looting has increased all over the country, and our antiquities are in grave danger from criminals trying to take advantage of the current situation," he wrote on his website.On his website, Hawass listed some two dozen archaeology sites that have been raided by thieves since Mubarak's ouster. The sites include the warehouse used by archaeologist from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art at Dahshour, a pyramids site on the outskirts of Cairo. Hawass also said illegal construction has taken place on antiquity sites.The list includes ancient Egyptian tombs, Islamic sites and warehouses and are spread across much of the country from the outskirts of Cairo, the Sinai Peninsula and the southernmost city of Aswan.The looting is part of a crime wave that has gripped Egypt since Jan. 28, when the police mysteriously disappeared from most of the country following deadly clashes with the anti-government protesters. The army was called out to restore order, but it has been unable to fully take on a policing role.Hawass has for more than decade been the international face of Egypt's archaeology, with his trademark "Indiana Jones" hat turning him into an instantly recognizable global icon. Hawass, however, has been the target of a recent series of heavily publicized protests by archaeology graduates who accused him of corruption and seeking publicity for himself."The world cannot sit by and permit unchecked anarchy to jeopardize the cultural heritage of one of the world's oldest, greatest, and most inspiring civilizations. We echo the voices of all concerned citizens of the globe in imploring Egypt's new government authorities ... to protect its precious past. Action needs to be taken immediately."Hmmmm......Perhaps the Western Museums should have given more Egyptian artifacts back to Egypt?Anyway we know how well Radical Islam takes care of "expressions' of other religions.Read the full story here.
- HT:RightTruth.Human Rights Abuses of Women in Iran Spotlighted New the U.N.Quoting the findings of exiled Iranian lawyer, Zohreh Arshadi, Mr. David Kilgour, co-chair of the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran intoned, "the Iranian penal system is a principal means of sustaining inequality of genders. Its ludicrous premise is that women are deficient in abilities." He added that Arshadi stresses that Iranian women, "have managed to achieve equality in one field only: equal right to imprisonment, exile, torture, being killed and now being slaughtered..."Speaking of the many Iranian women who are unjustly imprisoned, tortured and often sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit, Mr. Kilgour relayed the narrative of Sakineh Ashtiani, a mother of Turkic descent (a minority known to be targeted for human rights abuses, especially in Teheran) who did not speak Farsi or understand her charge of alleged adultery. "She was incarcerated and beaten, then humiliated in front of her family by a public lashing. Her plight and narrow escape from death by stoning became a successful test case for the global community's response to the regime's misogyny," he said.Calling for the disqualification of Iran's membership in the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Mr. Kilgour suggested that the CSW convene a special session to discuss women's rights in Iran and act in its capacity to stop the repression of women. "It is our responsibility to act in robust solidarity with the struggle for women's rights everywhere across Iran," he concluded.Highlighting the ubiquitous phenomenon of trafficking in or girls and women, Ms. Zamani said that the UN Special Rapporteur reported that, "most of the trafficking is said to occur in the eastern provinces, which are mainly Baluchi areas, where women are kidnapped, bought or entered into temporary marriage in order to be sold into sexual slavery in other countries." Concluding with an oft quoted phrase used amongst Iran's women human rights defenders, she said, "We are both women and minorities; so, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are doubly accused.""I am absolutely opposed to the imposition of Sharia law," declared Shabnam Assadollahi, the producer and host of the Canadian based Hamseda Persian radio program. "Sharia law tells us that female hair has evil energy and those women's rights activists in Iran who refused to wear head coverings were beaten and tortured while their children watched," she said. She detailed gruesome accounts of torture of women in Iran saying, "young girls and virgins were raped prior to being executed and after execution their bodies were burned and electrocuted."Fulminating at the decision to include the Islamic Republic of Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Ms. Assadollahi said, "There is no place for Iran on this commission. Just think about the arrogance of this regime to judge others concerning gender equality and human rights."Hmmm....Never there has been committed a greater injustice to women on this planet ,then when they gave a seat to Iran on UN Commission on the Status of Women!Read the full story here.Much More here.
- Turkey - Reactions mixed over new wave of Journalists detentions.The detention of 10 people -- mainly journalists -- as part of an investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine network accused of plotting to overthrow the government, has sparked mixed reactions in Turkey and abroad, with some analysts calling on everyone to refrain from any comment that could be seen as pressure on the judiciary and some others defining the detentions as a “severe blow to freedom of the press.” Turkish police searched the homes and offices of 11 people on Thursday and detained 10 of them. The detainees are accused of membership in the Ergenekon terrorist organization. They are currently being interrogated by civilian prosecutors involved in the Ergenekon case about their suspected links to the clandestine group. They had neither been set free nor arrested by the time Today’s Zaman went to print.The fact that eight of the detainees are journalists has drawn huge public anger among some circles in Turkey.Critics of the Ergenekon investigation claim the detentions were aimed at punishing journalists because they wrote books or articles critical of the government.Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün, however, dismissed the claims, saying, “People are not taken into custody just because they wrote books or criticized the government,” adding that everyone should wait for an explanation from prosecutors as to the reason behind the detentions.Interior Minister Beşir Atalay declined to comment on the detentions, saying only the judiciary has the right to comment. “If a statement should be made about the detentions, then the judiciary should do it,” he noted. (Meaning 'shut up'?)He also stated he had no opinion as to why the journalists were detained.European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle said the EU is concerned about the detention of journalists in Turkey. “The European Commission is following with concern the recent police actions against journalists,” Füle said in a statement late on Thursday. Füle also said freedom of expression and media were fundamental principles that should be upheld in all modern democracies.“As a candidate country, we expect Turkey to implement core democratic principles and enable varied, pluralistic debate in public space,” he said and added, “Turkey urgently needs to amend its legal framework to improve the exercise of freedom of the press in practice and in a significant manner.”State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a news briefing the United States was monitoring the case, urging a transparent investigation and an independent, pluralistic media. “We have concerns about trends in Turkey, as we have indicated publicly. We continue to engage Turkish officials on these developments and we will follow these cases very closely.”In addition, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatoviç called on Turkish authorities to immediately stop intimidating media following the detentions. “This unprecedented conduct by the authorities violates basic OSCE media freedom commitments. It targets and suppresses differing and critical voices,” Mijatoviç said.She also said detentions have a strong chilling effect on media freedom. “It clearly illustrates the need for Turkey to reform its media laws, as noted repeatedly by my office,” she said. “I call on the Turkish authorities to stop intimidating and threatening journalists. The detained journalists should be immediately released without any conditions.”Protestors from the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) and 25 different press organs marched from Taksim Square to Galatasaray. In Galatasaray Square, TGS Chairman Ercan İpekçi read aloud a statement on behalf of the protesting group. İpekçi started by yelling, “We will not keep quiet!”İpekçi pointed out dozens of journalists are currently behind bars on various charges. “That means that freedom of the press and expression is being violated. The pressure on journalists has reached an unbearable level. Those who claim journalists are being arrested for membership in a terrorist organization but not due to their professional efforts are committing a crime of slander in accordance with the Turkish Penal Code [TCK],” he said.Protestors later chanted slogans for an immediate release of the journalists. They also carried banners that read: “You cannot cover up Ergenekon in this way,” “Today Ahmet and Nedim, who is next tomorrow?” “No to censorship and raids,” “AK Party, take your hands off the media,” “Freedom to journalists,” “Freedom for democracy” and “Freedom to jailed pens.”Some journalists in Ankara marched with their mouths covered by ribbons that signified the alleged clampdown by the government on expression.Hmmmmm.......Obama's 'friend and ally' Erdogan.Keep Turkey out of the European Union!Read the full story here.
- Turkey - TÜSİAD head Ümit Boyner slams mass punishment of bloggers.Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) President Ümit Boyner yesterday slammed the mass punishment of bloggers due to a ban imposed by a Turkish court on Google’s famous blog-hosting service, blogspot.com/blogger.com. The ban, which was imposed early this week, came in the wake of complaints by digital satellite platform Digiturk on the grounds that it violated the company’s broadcasting rights to Turkey’s top football division.Speaking at a ceremony yesterday during which a TÜSİAD report on the banning of websites in Turkey was introduced, Boyner said: “The ban imposed on the blogsite/blogger is a situation that emerged due to the violation of the commercial rights of a company. It is impossible for us to approve of a violation of intellectual and commercial rights; however, imposing a ban on the entire website and preventing thousands of people from having access to their blogs is not the right thing to do.” Turkey’s Telecommunications Directorate has blocked more than 1,000 websites since last year under the law against cyber crime, which includes offenses such as insulting the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.Hmmmm.....Meanwhile it's also a good way to 'silence' the opposition?Iran nodding in approval.Read the full story here.
- "The War On Christianity".Critics Slam ABC Pilot 'Good Christian Bitches' for 'Inappropriate' 'Damaging'title.An ABC pilot called “Good Christian Bitches” has religious and women’s groups up in arms over what they describe as an extremely offensive and distasteful show title.The dramedy, based on Kim Gatlin’s novel of the same name, will be brought to life by famed “Sex and the City” and “90210” executive producer Darren Star. The plot centers on the life of reformed “mean girl” Amanda, played by “Talladega Nights” actress Leslie Bibb, who returns to her hometown of Dallas to find herself fodder for malicious gossip from the women in the Christian community. Still in the early stages, the pilot has not been guaranteed a spot on ABC’s lineup. And though the show’s title may change before it goes to broadcast, “Good Christian Bitches” is already causing uproar.“In the past, we’ve raised concerns about changing language standards for television," Henson said. "Once a particular profanity or obscenity has been embraced by a particular show, it quickly becomes mainstream.”And Yana Walton from the Women’s Media Center said Christians aren't the only ones who should be upset.“It is not an appropriate term to use to describe any woman, regardless of their faith,” Walton said. “Entertainment media, especially music and films, have been normalizing misogynistic language for years.”Hmmmmm.....Just try to imagine if the show would be called "Good Muslim B......"?Read the full story here.
- HT:AIM.Did Muslim Lobby Force Firing of Popular Radio Host?Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL is once again being accused of firing a popular talk show host because of his criticism of radical Muslims. The station, a major source of news and information for the nation’s capital, claims that popular morning host Fred Grandy resigned on his own, but Grandy tells AIM that he was essentially forced to leave after his wife, who is also outspoken about radical Islam, was cut from the program.The growing controversy over Grandy’s departure has resulted in some Grandy supporters charging the station with being “Sharia-compliant,” a reference to Islamic law, and with bending under pressure from the Council on American Islamic-Relations (CAIR), a Muslim lobbying organization that combats what it calls “Islamophobia” in the media.Grandy, a former actor and Republican member of Congress, told AIM, “My wife and I have used our program over the last several months to warn about the spread of radical Islam at home and abroad. Last week, Catherine (known on the show as Mrs. Fred) delivered a very tough indictment against stealth jihad, and for her efforts she was told she was off the show. I then told management without Mrs. Fred at the microphone, I could not remain either and have resigned effective this morning.”James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, who insists that Grandy was “forced to walk away” from his program after the banning of his wife from the show, blames the controversy on CAIR. “CAIR frequently criticized Grandy for reading FBI reports and court documents on his radio show which labeled CAIR as ‘an unindicted co-conspirator’ in the federal Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial,” Lafferty said.But CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper acted surprised by the news of Grandy’s resignation and responded, “What is their evidence for that claim?,” when informed that his group was being blamed for his departure.Lafferty told AIM, “I heard from two very good sources that CAIR was involved in this and not only targeting Grandy but Sean Hannity.” He said CAIR’s strategy was to knock Grandy off the air and then go after Hannity, a nationally syndicated radio host carried by WMAL in the afternoon. Hannity also hosts a Fox News Channel TV show.Lafferty has urged supporters of the Grandys to protest on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, during “Call Out WMAL Days.” He wants the public to call WMAL at (202) 895-2350 and (202) 686-3100 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each of those days and tell the station, “you will not listen to their station until Fred and Mrs. Fred Grandy return.”“America expects radio stations to be committed to free speech and the truth,” he says. “We expect WMAL to grow a backbone and stand up to CAIR and the other radicals. Call early and often.”At 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, Lafferty wants supporters of the Grandys to meet at WMAL’s studios (4400 Jenifer St., NW, Washington, DC 20015) with signs “to demonstrate our support for Fred Grandy and his wife and their courageous stand against radical Islam.”Hmmmm......Another topic for Congress man King his list to do?Read the full story here.
- "We have seen the 'light'?Poll: Unpopular With Evangelical Christians Obama, 6% View Him Favorably, 94% Unfavorably.A new poll spotlighting the faith community’s outlook on the 2012 campaign shows that evangelicals have high views of Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, less-than-enthusiastic views of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, and low views of President Obama.The Barna survey is the latest round of good polling news for Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist minister who is weighing whether to run for the Republican nomination. He already has said he will not participate in the early GOP debates, set to begin this spring. The fact that he leads among evangelicals is no surprise — he rode the wave of evangelical support in 2008 to a second-place primary finish — but it does show that his base of support has not eroded. Among evangelicals, Huckabee’s ratings (88 percent favorable, 11 percent unfavorable) led those of Palin (79 percent favorable, 21 percent unfavorable), Gingrich (57 percent/37 percent), Romney (56 percent/29 percent and Ron Paul (51 percent/26 percent). Obama, though, is viewed favorably by only 6 percent of evangelicals. Ninety-four percent view him unfavorably.Hmmmm......Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.Read the full story here.
- 'First day on the job".Germany’s New Interior Minister: “No Proof Islam is Part of Germany”.Germany’s freshly appointed Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has sparked controversy on the first day of his new job when talking about the role of Islam in German society.Friedrich, who succeeds Thomas de Maiziere, now defense minister, at a news conference in Berlin said there was no proof in history “that Islam is part of Germany.”De Maiziere and his predecessor Wolfgang Schaeuble had tried to launch a debate with Germany’s Muslim community to improve integration efforts.Friedrich said he would take integration of Germany’s estimated 4 million Muslims “very seriously,” adding that he would continue the dialog with the Muslim community, the so-called Islam Conference.His statements, which weren’t exactly tactful, were a repetition of his critique of a speech delivered by German President Christian Wulff, who said in October that Islam is a part of German society. Both politicians are members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.On the first day of his new job, Friedrich was criticized for what the opposition and Muslim groups said were inflammatory remarks.“Friedrich has only been interior minister for 24 hours and he starts by smashing the porcelain,” Deutsche Welle Online quoted Renate Kuenast, of the opposition Green Party, as saying.Hmmmm...."The proverbial "Bull in a China shop"?Read the full story here.
- Union supporters disrupt GOP state senators' restaurant meal.After the vote on Senate Bill 5, seven Republican senators, including President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, grabbed dinner at the Easy Street Cafe. As the lawmakers neared the end of their meal, a group of five to 10 union supporters angry about the passage of the bill hours before burst into the restaurant and began shouting.The commotion eventually led to pushing and shoving with the restaurant staff and owner, before police arrived to calm the situation as a police helicopter hovered overhead. No senators were involved in the physical altercations, and no charges have been filed."It could have (gotten physical)," said Sen. Frank LaRose, 31, a Fairlawn Republican who served as a Green Beret. "The group was agitated and they were shoving the owner, and he had nothing to do with this."LaRose said it didn't take special intelligence training to notice that while the lawmakers were eating, a woman walked past the window several times, poked her head in the door and got on her cell phone."It was planned," LaRose said. "They gathered as a group and waited until they had about 10 people before they caused a disturbance."Hmmmmm.....History repeating itself?Read the full story here
- Slumdog Millionaire child star loses everything.Rubina Ali watched helplessly as her family home in Mumbai was gutted in a huge fire.Rubina Ali, the 'Slumdog Millionaire' child star watched helplessly last night as her family home was destroyed and all its contents were reduced to ashes in a huge fire in Mumbai.The 12-year-old, who played Latika in Danny Boyle’s 2008 Oscar-winning film, said she had lost everything, including her photographs, newspaper clippings and film memorabilia, reported 'Mail Online'.More than 500 huts were destroyed in the city centre blaze, near the Bandra Railway Station, in which at least five people were reported missing.The youngster said: ‘Along with my house, all my good memories of my time on the film have been reduced to ashes. My new school books have been totally burnt. However, I feel relieved to see all my family members safe. The fire is so huge, it could have cost us our lives.’More than 25 fire engines had been sent to try to save the area.Rubina’s father, Rafiq Ali, said: ‘After my daughter’s fame, this house had become all the more special for me.‘Seeing it burnt to ashes in front of my eyes, I feel like I have lost everything. This was all we had.’The fire that broke out in one of the houses in the early evening quickly spread to around 500 houses in the locality. Last night the fire was reported to be spreading due to strong winds blowing into the city.Read the full story here.
- HT:interested-participant.And now for something completely different !Study: Staring at breasts increases heart health.Guys, listen up. A study says it is actually healthy to stare at a woman's breasts.Five-hundred men participated in the German study. Half were told to refrain from looking at breasts for five years, the other half were told to ogle them daily.The study found the men who stared at breasts more often showed lower rates of heart problems, a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure.The authors of the study recommend that men stare at breasts for 10 minutes a day.Hmmmm......Meanwhile there are off course the side effects from staring at them, when your other half catches you at it.Read and SEE the full story here.More here.
Anyone starting a 'revolution' in America?
Friday, March 4, 2011
- The volatile Lybian situation live streams here.
Live Blog Libya - Al Jazeera. here.
- Report: Union heads make six figures.As the standoff between unions and Wisconsin Republicans wages on, an analysis of the nation’s 10 largest labor unions shows some top leaders – the people being derided as “union bosses” – make six-figure salaries funded by members’ dues.Leaders earned between $173,000 and $618,000 at major unions, the Center for Public Integrity found in examining 2009 tax records, with some groups paying dozens of employees in the six figures. At the three major unions , which together represent more than 5.6 million public workers, presidents’ salaries ranged between $400,000 and $500,000 in 2009.Republicans have worked to separate union members from the leaders of their organizations, arguing that the “union bosses” who represent public workers aren’t looking after the best interests of their members. Salaries that are far larger for union leaders than for their members don’t convey the image that their leaders are on the side of workers, GOP lawmakers say.“When they say it’s about worker rights, it’s really about big union bosses running their own political dynasties,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said last week. Union political action committees and employees spent $400 million in support of President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 and another $280 million supporting Democratic candidates in 2010.Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that while his state’s unions “think I’m attacking them,” he’s not. “I’m attacking the leadership of the unions because they’re greedy, they’re selfish.”Hmmmm....Now who would have thought this?Read the full story here.
- 'This is my favourite killer outfit': Face of Kosovan Muslim alleged to have shot dead two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport.This is the face of the man suspected of killing two U.S. soldiers in Germany in an Islamist rage.The photo is from Arid Uka's Facebook page - once listed under his real name but changed recently to that of Abu Reyann, his chosen 'warrior' name.The site is littered with references to Holy War, hatred of 'non believers' and has his favourite saying - 'may the eyes of the cowards never sleep' - by Khalid Bin Walid, an ancient Islamic fighter who united Arabia for the first time.'This is my favourite killer outfit when rolling the dice on black ops,ha ha,' he boasts to his friends on the social networking site - probably more a reference to the computer game of the same name that he played avidly than any attack like that he carried out in Frankfurt which left two Americans dead and two severely wounded.'Way to go, you old killer!' posts friend Kastrijot Ferizi on the photo that was added to his page in December last year. Another writes that Abu Reyyan was his nickname that he knew him by.There are hate-filled rants against Jews and a cry to Jihad which said: 'If someone would call you to Holy War... yeah, and?'That is part of this beautiful religion. One is allowed to fight the unbelievers when attacked.'In August last year the 21-year-old answered an online question about what his favourite weapon was - it turns out to be a Barrett M82 sniper rifle.'The miserable non-believer' is an anti-western song on the website that he also makes reference to.'Germans are afraid of Islam and its spread and would rather we believe in Santa Claus,' he rambles.He calls Chancellor Angela Merkel an 'unbeliever' too, claiming she has sided with Israel which he described as 'a declaration of war'.German federal prosecutors said the attack appears to have been motivated by Islamic extremism.Prosecutors said in a statement today that 'because of the circumstances there is a suspicion that it was an Islamist motivated act'.Hmmmm.....Notice how Obama suddenly fell silent once the religious conviction of the shooter was Established ?Read the full story here.
- HT:Aina.Thousands of Ethiopian Muslims Burn Down Five Churches, More Attacks Feared.Washington -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that in the past two days, thousands of Muslims have razed five churches and the homes of two evangelists in Asendabo, Ethiopia. Christian leaders are asking for protection after the Muslim attackers continued burning churches even after the federal police were sent to the town.The Muslims started the attacks yesterday after falsely accusing the Christians of desecrating the Qur'an. More than ten thousand Muslims shouted "Allah Akbar" (Allah is great) as they burned down five evangelical churches. The government sent the federal police force to protect the Christians after the Muslims burned down the first three churches. The Muslims overwhelmed the police force and burned down two more churches today.Speaking with ICC, Christian leaders expressed their fear that Muslims will start killing the Christians unless the government sends more security forces to contain the Muslim attackers.At the time of the writing of this report, none of the Muslim attackers have been arrested. The government officials detained some Christians and took them to the nearby Jimma town stating that they need to do that for their own security.Ethiopia is a Christian majority country and was one of the first nations to accept Christianity. However, in the areas of the country where Muslims are the majority, Christians face attacks."We urge Ethiopian government forces to send reinforcement to protect the Christians in the city of Asendabo from the Muslim attacks. We ask Christians around the world to prevent any further attacks by calling the Ethiopian officials in their countries and asking them to protect the Christians and their property," said ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho.Hmmmm.....No word from the selfconfessed 'Christian' champion of the oppressed?Read the full story here.
- Islamist Rally at White House ‘Postponed’. Radical Accuses West of Interfering With Mideast Embrace of Shari’a.An Islamic radical called off a pro-shari’a (Islamic law) demonstration at the White House on Thursday, saying he did not want it to divert attention from the “urgent” situation in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East.Talking to CNSNews.com, the activist, Anjem Choudary, charged that Western powers were planning military intervention to ensure that popular uprisings do not give rise to shari’a-ruled states.“Their worst nightmare is for Muslims to rise up in the Middle East” and set up shari’a-ruled societies in countries stretching from North Africa to the Gulf, said Choudary.If that happened, it would be “the beginning of the end of capitalism” and lead inevitably to a huge, “boundary-less” Islamic region in which “the State of Israel will disappear” and the U.S. will be unable to maintain interests.Choudary said this warning about “a new form of colonialism” in the Middle East was the gist of a fatwa, or religious ruling, soon to be announced by Omar Bakri Mohammed, a radical Syrian-born cleric and longtime Choudary associate.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico.ATF agent says "Fast and Furious" program let guns "walk" into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case.WASHINGTON - Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?"Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen. Investigators call the tactic letting guns "walk." In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States. "I'm boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we've been doing it every day since I've been here," he said. "Here I am. Tell me I didn't do the things that I did. Tell me you didn't order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn't happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn't happen."Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico. ATF named the case "Fast and Furious." Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles. So it turns out ATF not only allowed it - they videotaped it.Hmmmm.....No wonder they don't want re-inforcements for border protection?Next time call the operation " U - Haul"?Read the full story here.
- Wisconsin Governor Says He Will Begin Issuing Layoff Warnings to Unions.CHICAGO — Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, said Thursday that he would begin issuing layoff warnings to unions representing 1,500 state employees on Friday if his bill to sharply reduce collective bargaining rights and benefits for public sector employees remained at an impasse in the Legislature. Republican leaders in the Senate, where the bill has been stalled since Senate Democrats left the capital two weeks ago to block a vote, passed a provision that they said allowed law enforcement officers to detain the missing Democratic senators if they were seen anywhere in Wisconsin and take them to Madison. In Indiana, where Republican leaders find themselves in a similar standoff over legislation, they approved on Thursday a still higher fine, $250-a-day, against Democrats, also missing to block votes from occurring. All along, Governor Walker has said that the cuts to the bargaining rights and benefits of public workers are desperately needed to close the state’s budget gaps. Without the savings he had assumed would be made immediately with the bill’s passage through increases in pension and health care costs for workers, Mr. Walker said Thursday that he had no choice but to begin issuing layoff warnings to unions, to be followed in 15 days by layoff notices to the 1,500 state workers. Officials from Mr. Walker’s administration have said limits were needed for safety and security after protesters began filling the building, and chanting, drumming and staying over. On Thursday, local police and government officials reported that live ammunition — so far unexplained — had been found outside on the grounds of the Capitol and inside a nearby city and county government building. Officials said damage inside the Capitol, in part from hundreds of anti-Walker signs now taped all over the marble, was expected to be in the millions of dollars. But others have vehemently objected to the limits. As cameras rolled, several Assembly Democrats moved their desks to the Capitol lawn for “office hours.”Hmmmmm.......Obama's "Kristal Nacht" Lite?Read the full story here.
- HT:BigPeace.Congressman King: Subpoena the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).Despite opposition from the usual alphabet soup of Muslim Brotherhood offshoot “advocacy” groups in the US, Congressman Peter King is forging ahead with planned mid-March hearings on what he terms domestic “Muslim radicalization.” In a December 19, 2010 Newsday opinion 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.Hmmmm.....Lets hope congressman King has what it takes to go to the bottom of this.Read the full story here.
- HT:TheAmericanDream.A National ID Card For American Citizens? Get Ready – The Real ID Act Goes Into Effect On May 11.For a moment, imagine a future where you are not able to drive a car, get on a plane, get on a train, vote, enter a federal building, open a bank account or get a job without a national ID card. You don't think that could ever happen in America? Well, you might want to brush up on the Real ID Act because it is going to go into effect on May 11, 2011 unless something is done to stop it. When I first learned this, I was absolutely stunned. After all, wasn't the Real ID Act supposed to be "dead"? A few years ago state legislatures across the nation were in an uproar over this law. The Department of Homeland Security was forced to delay implementation of it several times. But now it is back. You see, this is what the federal government often does. They will try to push something very unpopular through, and if they meet resistance they will "play dead" until the uproar has died down and then they will come right back and implement it anyway. This is what is happening with the Real ID Act.Back in 2008, former U.S. Representative Bob Barr wrote the following about how not having one of these new national ID cards will automatically strip us of some of our most fundamental rights...."A person not possessing a Real ID Act-compliant identification card could not enter any federal building, or an office of his or her congressman or senator or the U.S. Capitol. This effectively denies that person their fundamental rights to assembly and to petition the government as guaranteed in the First Amendment."Of course the Department of Homeland Security insists that the Real ID Act is just here to "help" us and to make life "better" and "more secure". According to their website, some of the goals of the Real ID Act are "to help prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents."But is this really what we want America to become?If we put up with a national ID card, then the Obama administration will be emboldened to try to implement the "universal Internet ID" that they have been talking about.The sad truth is that America is no longer "the land of the free". The government has decided that in order to keep us "safe", everything that we do must be watched, tracked, traced, recorded and controlled.Hmmmm.....Welcome to the 'police state'.Read the full story here.
- Pakistan court orders US shooter trial to go ahead.A Pakistani court on Thursday said that the murder trial of a CIA contractor would go ahead, despite the insistence of the US government that he has diplomatic immunity.The hearing in the murder case against Raymond Davis took place amid high security in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore where he is being held, and was adjourned until March 8.Davis has claimed he acted in self-defence when he shot dead two men in a busy Lahore street in January.The issue of his claim to diplomatic immunity is pending before the Pakistani High Court which is due to rule on March 14."The court passed an order today saying that he (Davis) had failed to produce any legitimate document proving his diplomatic immunity," the lawyer representing the families of the two men shot by him, Asad Manzoor Butt, told AFP after a closed-door hearing."The judge rejected his (Davis's) immunity claim after a lot of debate," Butt said.His lawyer pleaded that he could not be prosecuted by this court because of the diplomatic immunity issue was pending in Lahore High Court, Butt said."The judge replied that the Lahore High Court had not barred him to proceed on the murder trial," Butt said.Zahid Bokhari, Davis's lawyer, told AFP the judge had ordered the trial to continue because for the past one-and-a-half months no document had been produced in the court related to Davis's immunity."We will see the detailed written order by the judge and then will be able to tell whether he had rejected the claim of diplomatic immunity or not," Bokhari said.Hmmmm....A good thing Senator Kerry intervened it might have been worse?Read the full story here.
- Obama’s state of Islamic denial.Note to Barack HUSSEIN Obama : ‘Allahu akbar’ is a Muslim war cry.U.S. troops are gunned down by a shooter who screams “Allahu akbar!” before opening fire. Official statements are rushed out: The perpetrator was a lone wolf; his motive was unclear; there are no links to terrorism. Sound familiar? It should, because when Islam is the cause of American tragedy, President Obama hides his head in the sand. On Wednesday, a young Kosovar named Arif Uka opened fire on a bus load of U.S. Air Force personnel in Frankfurt, Germany, killing two and wounding two more. Witnesses say he repeatedly shouted the jihadist battle cry, “Allahu akbar” as he emptied his weapon and screamed “Jihad! Jihad!” when tackled by German police. Uka’s victims had been heading to the fight in Afghanistan but because the jihadists have a global battlespace, the war came to them instead. The Obama administration’s knee-jerk instinct to deny reality in hopes it will go away is clearly not working. How many Americans have to die before Mr. Obama at long last admits the nature of the Islamist threat that killed them?Hmmmm....."I will stand with my Muslim brethren?Read the full story here.
- HT:TheTrumpet.An Islamic uprising in Pakistan would create a nightmare scenario for the Western world.If you think the violence and political chaos in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya is ugly, consider what’s brewing in nuclear-armed Pakistan.Yesterday, Islamic terrorists gunned down Pakistan’s sole Christian (Catholic) politician in broad daylight outside his mother’s home in Islamabad. Shahbaz Bhatti was Pakistan’s federal minister for minority affairs, a genuine moderate, pro-Western politician, and a leading voice in the now-shrinking movement to reform Pakistan’s government. Mr. Bhatti was murdered because of his brave and outspoken criticism of Pakistan’s hardcore anti-blasphemy laws, which are routinely used to persecute Pakistan’s non-Islamic minority communities.Lest there be any confusion about their motives, Bhatti’s assailants left pamphlets with the following message beside the dead body (emphasis mine throughout): "This is a warning from the warriors of Islam to all the world’s infidels, crusaders, Jews … and especially the head of Pakistan’s infidel system, [President Asif Ali] Zardari, his ministers, and all the institutions of this evil system. In your fight against Allah, you have become so bold that you act in favor of and support those who insult the prophet. And you put a cursed Christian infidel Shahbaz Bhatti in charge of [the blasphemy laws review] committee. This is the fate of that cursed man. And now, with the grace of Allah, the warriors of Islam will pick you out one by one and send you to hell, God willing." It was a public warning from radical Islam: Oppose us and you will die.The Islamists’ ferocious, take-no-prisoners tactics appear to be working. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made it clear in a speech in Pakistan’s National Assembly that his government had no intention of amending Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws. Throughout Pakistan, lamented Syed Shamsuddin, coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, “[a]ll those working for a tolerant society are in retreat because there’s no support from the government.”The extent of the government of Pakistan’s capitulation to radical Islam is also evident in the increasingly heated dispute between America and Pakistan over Raymond Davis, a former U.S. Special Forces officer and current U.S. government contractor. Davis was arrested, charged and imprisoned by Pakistani authorities in January for allegedly shooting two young Pakistani men—both armed and trailing him—at a busy intersection in the city of Lahore.Despite Davis having diplomatic immunity—and in spite of multiple calls from U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, who traveled with a delegation to Pakistan to secure Davis’s release—Pakistani authorities continue to refuse to let him go.This is not because Pakistan’s moderate leaders are morally opposed to releasing Davis. It’s because these men value their own lives. As Joel Brinkley wrote earlier this month, no one inside Pakistan “wants to face the possible fate of Salman Taseer, the Punjab prosecutor, assassinated by his own bodyguard last month for standing up against Islamic militancy.”In reality, more is at stake than the lives of a few politicians.If Davis is released, Pakistan could become the next Egypt or Libya overnight. Liaquat Baluch, the deputy chief of the Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami, has promised “forceful protests” throughout Pakistan if Davis is released with a court order. On February 13, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (ttp), a branch of the Taliban, issued a statement demanding that Davis be executed or turned over to the ttp for punishment. The entire country, and especially Pakistan’s Islamic populace, is gripped by the Raymond Davis case. As Stratfor’s Scott Stewart recently wrote, this “complicates the position of the Pakistani government [and] raises the distinct possibility that there will be civil unrest if Davis is released” (February 16).Radical Islam has Mr. Gilani’s government over a barrel. If Davis is set free, Pakistan could erupt!In many ways, Pakistan is more vulnerable to radical Islam than Tunisia, Egypt or Libya!Prime Minister Gilani and the moderates in Pakistan are walking a tightrope. Radical Islamists have infiltrated nearly all the departments within the nation’s government. If Gilani continues to acquiesce to their demands, the Islamists will likely remain content for the time being—essentially creating a situation in which radical Islam is calling the shots, or at least all the important ones.Unlike the other countries, Pakistan has a significant cache of nuclear weapons!And its stockpile is growing. U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported that Pakistan has somewhere between 95 and 110 deployed nuclear weapons, and enough fuel to build a further 40 to 100. Two years ago Islamabad had roughly 75 nukes. In the past 24 months, Pakistan has managed to add another 20 to 30 nuclear weapons to its already significant stash. Meanwhile, radical Islam has tightened its grip on the country.This is what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his band of radical Islamic terrorists dream about at night: acquiring a pile of nuclear weapons and setting off a nuclear Armageddon!It’s a terrifying but entirely plausible scenario: Iran and radical Islam could soon dominate Pakistan—and exercise dominion over a stash of nuclear weapons! Hmmmm.....And tens of Billions of Dollars support from the Obama administration.Read the full story here.
- "Life or Death in Iran's prisons.59 political prisoners launch indefinite hunger strike in protest to repressive policies.The Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners – 59 political prisoners in Rajai Shahr ‘Gohardasht’ prison released a statement announcing that they have launched an indefinite hunger strike since Tuesday morning. The hunger strike is in protest to the suppression of the Iranian people’s righteous resistance and against the limitations imposed inside the prison.According to The Student Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners (SCDPP), the message of the political prisoners was delivered to the organization with great difficulty. In the message, the prisoners cited the following reasons for launching the indefinite hunger strike: the widespread crackdowns on political prisoners; the great limitations inside the prison; the severance of all contacts between prisoners and their families; the mistreatment, insults and disrespectful behaviour toward the prisoners; the brutal repression of the Iranian people’s resistance; and the arrest of the [opposition] political leaders.Based on the received information, the political prisoners in ward 4, the newly established special security hall of Rajai Shahr prison, are under strict control of the security organizations. All contacts between prisoners are severely repressed.The deputy security head of the prison Nabiollah Faraji is a former interrogator and torturer at Evin prison. He is supported by Ali Haj-Kazem, the director of Rajai Shahr prison, as well as judicial and security authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He is assigned the responsibility of putting pressure on political prisoners held in the special security section. Additionally, he has several unresolved case files in connection to the torture of prisoners.Hmmmm.....No word from the defender of the oppressed?Read the full story here.
- Belgium - Enhanced pat downs cancelled at Airport!'Intimate' checks Zaventem suspended ,After the Brussels airport last week started testing a stricter way of searches,it started raining complaints to the staff of Brussels Airport. "This was way tooo far," said a security guard. The measure has been temporarily suspended.The stricter controls last week were tested a few days upon request of security firm Group 4. But after a storm of criticism was the measure temporarily suspended. It really rained complaints.Not so much from passengers, but from the airport staff who several times a day pass beyond the control and may be searched four to five times . "We have been asked to verify briefly the genitals," said several staff members who prefer to remain anonymous. "Our hand we had to raise as high as possible between the legs and secure with your other hand the venus mound while going over it.(...). We even had with the full hand search the breasts, including the nipples (...). As if we were forced to perform sexual acts. "Moreover, the international association of security firms at European airports unequivocal: "Between the legs searches like these who occured, do not pass," said spokeswoman Hilde De Clerck.Hmmm....At least we save our 'Dignity'.Read the full story here.(Google translate attempt).
- Why is Amnesty going soft and easy on Iran?Amnesty International, an organization lauded for promoting human rights worldwide, has a strong and consistent track record of calling for UN arms embargoes on governments that violate human rights abuse. As protector of human rights, Amnesty understand the merits of arms embargoes, a type of smart sanctions that avoid causing humanitarian harm often associated with comprehensive actions.But for some reason, for years Amnesty International has been singling Iran out and avoided calling for arms embargo as a response to Iran's extensive human rights violations. Why is Amensty going soft on Iran, one of the worst human rights violators today?The Iranian regime, whose hands are drenched in blood, is characterized by some of the most egregious human rights violations. Iran is one of the states with the “highest rates of executions” and is recognized as a certified serial breaker of not one but six principle human rights treaties, at least three U.N. Arms Embargo’s (Security Council Resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803) and the U.N. Charter, Article 2.4 prohibiting threats of war. The U.S. declared Iran as being one of the world’s most active state sponsors of terrorism, an “identified part of an axis of evil” and added the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.No one should be above the law and the government of Iran needs to be held accountable for its human rights crimes on every aspect. By refraining from speaking out against every violation Iran commits; Amnesty International’s silence is enabling Iran to make a mockery of the organization, what it stands for and for the fight for freedom of human rights worldwide.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Iranian Journalist: According To IAEA Report – Iran Studying Nuclear Warheads.The editor of the Iranian magazine Hamshahri Diplomatic, Rahman Qahremanpour, said that the February 2011 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency notes explicitly, for the first time, that Iran conducted eight studies on attaching nuclear warheads to ballistic missiles.Read the full story here.
- Mubarak receiving treatment at Saudi hospital: report.A state-owned Egyptian newspaper on Wednesday said former president Hosni Mubarak was being treated in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, the latest media report about the ex-president's health that comes after the army denied earlier speculation.The army could not immediately be reached for comment on the al-Akhbar report. A military source had on Tuesday denied another media report that said Mubarak, 82, and his family tried to flee Egypt and afterwards Mubarak was hospitalized in Cairo.Wednesday's edition of al-Akhbar newspaper quoted "sources informed about the news" and said Mubarak was in Tabuk in Saudi Arabia receiving chemotherapy for one hour every five days for colon and pancreatic cancer. It reported his family was with him in the private wing of the military hospital.Hmmm.....Read the full story here.
- HT:Aina.1,400% Increase in 'Honor Killings' in Turkey.If you Google News “sharia” right now you will find a lot of leftist and mainstream media writing about Tennessee being ignorant for considering anti-sharia laws. However, if you change “sharia” to “honor killing” in your search you will quickly realize that as Sharia spreads, so do honor killings. We’ve seen more cases in America lately, and there is a near genocide of women going on in Turkey involving honor killings in pro-sharia communities.As Turkey tries to gain entry into the European Union, new stats reveal a frightening trend in the treatment of women in the Islamic majority nation. From 2002-2009, which is the most recent data available, cases of women being murdered in Turkey has grown 1,400%. There were 66 known cases in 2002 and 953 in 2009. And the vast majority of these cases are related to Muslim men punishing their wives, daughters, or sisters for shaming their religion. Even worse, other research shows up to 40% of Turkish women have been abused physically or sexually.Every day there are more horror stories, Hatice Firat is just one of the latest examples. The 19 year old girl ran away from home with her boyfriend about a month ago. Her family eventually located her and convinced her to come home. Shortly after, Firat’s brother took her for a walk on the beach, and then he plunged a knife into his sister’s chest 40 times. He was following the will of their family and what they believed was the will of Allah.Firat’s family would not bury their daughter or go to the funeral. Around fifty women paid for it and marched chanting for the end of such violence against women : "We are not going to be anyone's honor," "End honor killings," "Hands that hurt women should be broken."Stories like Firat’s are more than daily occurrences in Turkey,Pakistan, and many other parts of the Muslim world. And recent cases in the United States show it is a growing problem here too. But while women’s groups are becoming more outspoken in Turkey, feminist organizations are silent in America. And to make matters worse, our media continues to argue there is nothing to fear with the spread of Sharia.Europe is looking at Turkey and their own problems and our finally starting to see the dangers. When will America do the same? How many women will be abused or killed before we do?Hmmmm......Keep Turkey out of the European Union.Read the full story here.
- Turkey's first openly gay referee adamant to continue battle.Turkey’s first openly gay referee says he will not stop his legal battle against the national football’s governing body for blocking him from his profession as a match official.Former football referee Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ first became known to the public in 2008, when it emerged that the Turkish Football Federation, or the TFF, stripped him of his rights to officiate matches.Dinçdağ was then forced to leave his job because he had been excused from his compulsory military service on account of his homosexuality, which was documented in a medical report. According to the sport's regulations, anyone who fails to complete his military service for health reasons is unfit to perform as a referee.The 35-year-old filed a criminal complaint against the Turkish Football Federation and sought compensations up to 110,000 Turkish liras for damages.“First, I was forced to quit refereeing, which I love most. I also had to quit my job as a speaker at a radio station, which I was doing for 16 years. I have been unemployed for a long time and it hurt my soul very much. I even have trouble paying for the expenses of this tribunal.”“I will not back down from this legal battle, which I started to get my rights back,” he said. “I believe I am right and we will see it at the end of this case. But if the decision is made against me, I will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.”“Everybody knows that there are many gay referees in European football. It is sad to see it as a disaster in Turkey while it is normal in the world.”Hmmmm......Keep Turkey out of the European Union.Read the full story here.
- Tunisian Islamist leader embraces Turkey, praises Erbakan.Turkish political experience “inspires the Arab world,” the leader of Tunisia’s newly legalized Islamist movement “Ennahda” (Awakening) said Wednesday during a meeting with journalists in Istanbul.Rached Ghannouchi, who was in exile during the era of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, came to Turkey to attend the funeral Tuesday of the country’s first Islamist prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan. He told the mostly Turkish and Arab journalists at the meeting that Turkey serves as an example for budding Tunisian democrats.“We are learning from the experience of Turkey, especially the peace that has been reached in the country between Islam and modernity; it is a true example [to the Arab world],” Ghannouchi said.His press conference took place at the Istanbul headquarters of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or İHH, a Turkish Islamic charity that led the Gaza-bound aid flotilla raided by Israeli commandos in May, an operation that resulted in the deaths of nine activists.Ghannouchi compared Erbakan to the intellectual forefathers and founders of the Muslim Brotherhood. “In the Arab world in my generation, when [people] talked about the Islamic movement, they talked about Erbakan. When they talked about Erbakan, it is comparable to the way they talked about [Brotherhood founders] Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb,” he said.Asked his thoughts on the two Brotherhood figures, Ghannouchi did not shed light on whether his ideological beliefs were close to theirs. “Hassan al-Banna and Yusuf al-Qaradawi [another theologian] are not the only believers [in Islam] in the world. There are 1.5 billion believers on Earth,” he said.In his remarks, Ghannouchi also touched on the freedom of the press, mentioning at least once that Turkey’s free press is an inspiration to the Arab world. “Freedom of the press is something we should nurture; protection of the news is a sort of liberation,” he said.Hmmmm....We're talking about the same Erbakan who claimed in an interview that Jews believe they "will destroy – Allah forbid – Al-Aqsa mosque and in its place build Solomon's temple,"and said the Muslims, by contrast, "became the masters. We [the Muslims] ruled for 11 centuries. But unfortunately, in the last three centuries the children of Israel have grabbed this material power. Now they control the world that we live in."Read the full story here.
- Turkish police detain 11 more journalists in coup probe.Turkish police detained an award-winning journalist Thursday in a fresh move against the media as part of a controversial coup probe, fuelling accusations of a campaign to bully government opponents.Armed with detention orders, police raided the homes of 11 people, most of them journalists, following a similar operation last month that sparked an outcry over press freedom in EU-aspirant Turkey and drew U.S. criticism, Anatolia news agency reported.The suspects included Nedim Sener, an investigative reporter for the Milliyet daily and author, who last year received the International Press Institute's "World Press Freedom Hero" award for a book that put blame on the security forces in the 2007 murder of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.Television footage showed police leading Sener into a car, as neighbors applauded the journalist in a protest at the operation.Following his colleagues' arrest, he wrote: "I am being told it is now my turn... How horrible! Has prison become the place for those who tell the truth and raise their voice?"Washington at the time expressed "broad concern about trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey."Three other newsmen, two of them writers of odatv.com, and a popular academic were detained as of Thursday afternoon after police completed a search at their homes in Istanbul and Ankara, Anatolia said."You touch them, you get burnt," journalist Ahmet Sik, who was working on a book critical of the police, shouted as officers led him out of his home, the agency reported.Hmmmm......Ghannouchi Turkey’s free press is an inspiration to the Arab world ,i wonder did he mean Iran by that?Read the full story here.
- France - Revolution coming soon to a neighbourhood near you?Questions are also emerging about whether the spirit of revolt might also take root among Europe-based Arabs, who often accuse their host countries of racism and blame the colonial past for many of their woes."All of these problems that led to revolutions in the Arab world are also daily life in France and are more and more unbearable," Yacine Djaziri, whose Bondy Blog chronicles life in immigrant-heavy Paris suburbs that exploded in riots in 2005, wrote recently."How do we fix it? Do we need to set ourselves on fire? Be resigned? Get angry? Revolt?"Balanced with fears are calls for hope and solidarity: some European officials on Monday proposed a Marshall Plan for the Middle East, drawing an explicit parallel to the continent's U.S.-funded reconstruction after World War II that testifies to the magnitude of the drama unfolding across the Mediterranean.But Europeans ask: who's going to pay when they're engulfed in a debt crisis that threatens to darken the future of an entire generation? "Germany pumps enough money into foreign countries already," said Marcel Mueller, 27, who works in the service industry.Hmmmm.......Not forgetting the 'Outreach to Muslims' in france by the Obama administration.Read the full story here.
- Police quiz Pakistani stepfather of missing California girl, 13, who fled her home in terror 'to avoid arranged marriage.A 13-year-old schoolgirl who was missing for more than a week ran away because she was terrified by her mother and stepfather's alleged plot to send her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, police claimed today.Jessie Bender's parents are accused of keeping their plan secret from detectives after reporting that she had disappeared from their California home.Their claim that Jessie was abducted by a Facebook predator was proved false after she was discovered hiding with a relative at a hotel about 30 miles from her home in Hesperia, California.Speaking to MailOnline, Hesperia Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Roxanne Walker said Jessie's stepfather, Mohammad Khan - who is from Pakistan - and her American mother, Melissa, were planning an arranged marriage for the teen.'There was something to that effect in the works and the daughter was scared. 'She was found with the uncle who was protecting her from the parents,' said Ms Walker.One line of inquiry is whether there was any intention to involve Jessie in an arranged marriage in Pakistan while she was under age.Police also slammed the Bender family for 'misleading' them over Jessie's disappearance, wasting time and resources.But as they came up with nothing, their suspicions grew that Jessie's disappearance had nothing to do with a Facebook friend. Then a relative, now known to be an uncle, led police to the Apple Valley hotel where Jessie was hiding, and the real reason for her disappearance was revealed. It is not clear what relatives Jessie has in Pakistan although it is believed her stepfather Mr Kahn may have connections there.Jessie and her three siblings have been taken to child protective custody by county social services, and no arrests have been made.Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely different.Indian press go crazy on mega-bucks wedding.Groom gets copter as wedding gift, his barber gets $5,500.The groom wore a garland made of bank notes and received a helicopter as a gift, there were 18,000 guests - or perhaps it was 30,000 - and 1,000 workers took 40 days to prepare the venue.The exact details have been fiercely disputed, but Wednesday's newspapers in New Delhi were all in agreement that this had been one very big, very fat Indian wedding.Lalit Tanwar married his bride Yogita Jaunapuria at a family farmhouse near the city in a ceremony celebrated with 100 dishes, 12 giant TV screens to broadcast proceedings, and even a gift of $5,500 for the groom's barber.The Times of India calculated the cost of Tuesday night's extravaganza uniting two influential political families at one billion rupees ($22 million), while the Mail Today went for the less conservative figure of $55 million."I don't understand why there is so much hoopla about this marriage," the groom's father, Kanwar Singh Tanwar, told the Times. "All estimates of this marriage in the media are speculation."In the Indian Express, he was quoted as saying: "True, a Bell 429 helicopter was given but it was a simple wedding."The Hindustan Times reported that at a pre-wedding ceremony last week 2,000 guests were each given a silver biscuit, a safari suit and $500 in cash, while at a different ritual the bride's family welcomed the groom with gifts worth $5 million.The newly-weds, both 26, were heralded on Tuesday night by flowers and lights bedecking three kilometres (two miles) of roads leading to the function, where no meat or alcohol were served in line with Hindu tradition.Hmmmm.......One of the few things money can't buy is the gift of kindness,meet the other side of India!Read the full story here.