Monday, May 16, 2011
- Syria Live Blog - May 16. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - May 16. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.7 activity. More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 112. Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Washington D.C. Friday prayers imam Muhammad Al-'Asi Takes part in IRAN on the International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace: Israel Is the Root Of Global Terrorism! The International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace (http://www.peacetribune.com/), hosted by Tehran May 14-15, 2011, was attended by 100 foreigners and 300 local figures. Among the conferees were Washington D.C. Friday prayers imam Muhammad Al-'Asi ;senior Muslim cleric in Russia Umar Khazrat Idrisov; British-Islamic Relations Institute director Kamal Al-Halbawi, and Malaysian human rights activist Chandra Mozaffar. The Iranian officials included Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Tashkhiri, head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, and Mohammad Hassan Akhtari, secretary-general of the World Assembly of Ahl-al-Bayt and deputy of international affairs in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.In his May 15 speech at the conference, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel the root cause and main pillar of global terrorism, and said that Tehran constantly stresses the need to overthrow it because the fight against terrorism requires attacks against the bases and symbols of global repression. Ahmadinejad warned at the conference that if Israel continued to exist, the region would be subject to many more decades of threats, occupation, and insecurity. Another cause of global terrorism, he said, was the coming to power of "unjust individuals" in the U.S. and in several European countries. At the same time, Ahmadinejad said that the regimes of the U.S. and its allies would collapse after Israel did, because they were the foundation of the Western world order – which he said would end in light of the awakening and steadfastness of the nations. The West, he maintained, is perpetrating economic terrorism as it loots the resources of Africa and Central America.It was reported that among the issues discussed at the conference were: theoretical principles of terrorism, the typology of terrorism, coordination of efforts in fighting terror, policies adopted by different governments to combat terrorism, real objectives of combating terrorism, terrorist groups, cultural terrorism, cyber-terrorism, media terrorism, and the role of media in fighting terror.Hmmmm......Whas he there with the approval of the Obama regime??Read the full story here.
- Transparent: Obama Official Refuses to Disclose Information About Executive Order on Transparency.(BigGovernment)How genuine can the President’s claims of transparency be when they won’t even discuss the most basic aspects of the people and process involved with the drafting of their Executive Order on transparency?Hmmmm....when will they realise they are dealing with a dictatorship?Read and see the full story here.
- Meet Obama’s New Energy Plan, Same as The Old Plan.(BigGovernment).There seemed to have been a collective sigh of relief across the country. After over two years of waging war on domestic energy production which helped to boost gas prices over four dollars/gallon ($4.58 in my neighborhood), President Obama announced a new energy plan that would allow an increase and acceleration of domestic energy production.Well…that’s until one examines his words. That’s when you realize that the POTUS left himself enough “outs” to make his plan worthless.I am directing the Department of Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, while respecting sensitive areas, and to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic. We plan to lease new areas in the Gulf of Mexico as well, and work to create new incentives for industry to develop their unused leases both on and offshore.Oh great! Finally drilling at ANWR? Not on your life. The National Petroleum Reserve is not ANWR it’s next the desired drilling area. Kind of like telling a new president that instead of the White House he would have to live at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue.The President didn’t mention drilling in ANWR, he said “respecting sensitive areas,” which was a signal to the important environmentalist constituency, that he did not mean ANWR.One of Ken Salazar’s first acts as Secretary of Interior was canceling 77 Utah oil and gas leases that had gone through seven years of studies, negotiations and land-use planning. In an instant, he eliminated hundreds of jobs, terminated access to vital oil and gas deposits, and deprived taxpayers of millions in lease bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenues. In short he was making us more defendant on foreign oil instead of exploiting our reserves which are larger than any other country on this planet.What Obama’s Secretary of Interior did instead was to extend the environmental process. In January 2010, Secretary Salazar announced a new policy expanding environmental reviews before leasing federal lands to the oil and gas industry.There was no mention of changing this delaying policy in his words yesterday. Dooming any potential new oil reserves to years of federal roadblocks.There was also no mention by the President of our vast shale oil reserves.The Green River shale formation in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, has an estimated 800 billion barrels of oil, which is three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. In the Bakken oil shale formation in the Dakotas, there are an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil.What seemed as an epiphany by President Obama yesterday was nothing of the kind, it was simply a collection of empty words, as was his earlier promise to lift his oil moratorium in the Gulf, which resulted only in decreased production and many of his other promises, such as his signature health plan not causing people change providers.So at least with his words on Saturday, President Obama’s new energy plan is “same as the old plan.”Hmmmm......Snake oil in different containers is still 'Snakeoil'!Read the full story here.
- FBI, DHS, NYPD pander to Muslims in Brooklyn – program will expand across U.S.(CreepingSharia). via Muslim Youths, Law Enforcement Bridge Gaps In Brooklyn « CBS New York.NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Federal law enforcement officials tried to break down barriers with the Muslim community in Brooklyn on Saturday, with a special program designed to foster a culture of understanding.When 17-year-old Bilal Amjad strapped on a bulletproof vest, he got more than just a feeling of security, reports CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown. He began to feel accepted.“There’s a lot of stuff on the news, that Muslim people are all bad – but we’re not all like that,” Amjad said.Amjad was one of several hundred Muslim youths attending a day-long, hands-on program with law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, New York State Police and the NYPD.Each side of the program was looking to break through stereotypes to keep communities together.“A lot of law enforcement probably look at us in a bad way, but we’re not like that,” Amjad said.“What we’re trying to do is to show them that they have opportunities in public service and government, and to show them the importance and respect that their faith has,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Flannery said.Many at the event said that too many times, the Muslim community and law enforcement officials interact only when reacting to a dangerous situation, and that has helped to foster tense relations.“This is why we’re building these bridges – because we want to close those gaps where they law enforcement feels, ‘oh, these are Muslim kids, and perhaps they might be thinking something.’” Mohammad Razvi, executive director of the Council of Peoples Organization, said.The program, he said, was an opportunity to bridge those gaps.“These are Americans kids – they stand in front of this American flag and say, ‘we are Americans,’” Razvi said.The event in Brooklyn was the first of its kind in the country, but organizers said they’re looking to expand to other areas soon, beginning with Washington, D.C.More than 500 kids, and a dozen mosques and schools, took part in Saturday’s program.Law enforcement hasn’t reached out ot any other demographic in the U.S. with this “first of its kind” program. There are programs for Americans, and then there are programs for Muslims in America. That’s how Islam works.The sponsoring group is new to us but they have co-sponsored events with the most notorious of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood linked groups and individuals in the U.S.Hmmmm....."We don't want to take over your country"?Read the full story here.
- Virginia inmate wins legal jihad, submits prison to all kinds of sharia.(CreepingSharia).The coup de grace for Virginia’s prison system (and taxpayers), losers of the legal jihad. The government prison system is now forced to provide:
•Muslim reading materials
•Muslim CDs and DVD’s
•$2,500 on Islamic library materials for the Greensville Correctional Center
•hire a Muslim inmate to work in the library
•inmates at Greensville will be allowed to donate religious materials to the library
•Al-Amin was even allowed to submit his own list of Islamic reading materials, movies and CDs
•department also agreed to allow Al-Amin to use his religious name
•allow inmates to assist in the preparation of religious meals
Everything a prison needs to be a jihad teaching factory. Even a sympathetic interviewee saw how bad the settlement was and provided the understatement of the day: “That’s a terrible settlement. It sets a very bad precedent.” Rashid Qawi Al-Amin succeeded where thousands of Virginia prison inmates before him have failed: He prevailed in a lawsuit against the government.Al-Amin won a settlement with the state that forces the prison system to supply him, and the Greensville Correctional Center library, with Muslim reading materials, CDs and DVDs. He’ll also receive $2,000.Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office decided to settle the seven-year legal battle after a series of court rulings in Al-Amin’s favor. The state admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement but did agree to perform eight different acts to satisfy Al-Amin’s claims.While prisons should allow access to any mainstream religion, he said, officials need to be aware of the separation of church and state.“Public funds should not be used to purchase sectarian materials,” he said.Larry Traylor, director of communications for the Department of Corrections, declined to discuss the specifics of the Al-Amin case, but he supplied The Virginian-Pilot with the department’s rules concerning the practice of religion by inmates.The department has a Faith Review Committee to review the validity of various religions that are recommended by the institutions to be recognized, he said.The state Attorney General Office, which defended Greensville and its food service contractor in the case, declined to comment but did provide the newspaper with a copy of the settlement.Hmmmm....Meanwhile in Brittain they realised that Prison is a breading ground for Islamic extremists.Read the full story here.
- Former Pakistani FM: Islamabad-Washington Ties Darkening.(FarsNews)."The relations between Pakistan and the US have reached their lowest levels these days," Qureshi told FNA on Monday, adding that there is a wall of mistrust between the two sides at present. Yet, the former Pakistani top diplomat stated that the current decline in the bilateral relations between the two countries would likely prove beneficial to the Pakistani people. "Nations make hard decisions in hard times," he continued. Qureshi also underscored that "betterment of ties between the two countries should take place on the basis of mutual respect".A senior Pakistani politician announced in April that Islamabad planned to lodge a complaint with the international bodies against the United States' drone attacks on its citizens. "The issue of the US drone attacks will be raised at human rights organizations and other relevant (international) bodies," member of Pakistan's National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal told FNA. "Pakistan will take legal action against the US over the issue," added Iqbal, who also speaks for the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N). The Pakistani lawmaker described the US drone attacks as "violation of Pakistan's sovereignty", and underlined that the entire Pakistani nation is against these attack. Earlier in April, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha urged Washington to stop air raids on Pakistan and end the US espionage operations in the country. The issue was raised by Shuja Pasha in a meeting with Leon Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Political observers had warned that if the US ignores Islamabad's abovementioned demands, the Pakistani Army and the ISI's possible reaction would likely include an end to Islamabad's cooperation with the US. Read the full story here.
- Pakistan increased it's Nuclear stockpile by 100-200%,why Pakistan's Nuclear Surge?(DailyBeast).Photos obtained by Newsweek reveal a more aggressive buildup than previously known. So why does Washington still stay mum? Andrew Bast on the White House’s thorny next steps. Plus, A. Q. Khan, the “father” of the Pakistan bomb, on why his nation deserves to have nuclear weapons.Even in the best of times, Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons program warrants alarm. But these are perilous days. At a moment of unprecedented misgiving between Washington and Islamabad, new evidence suggests that Pakistan’s nuclear program is barreling ahead at a furious clip.According to new commercial-satellite imagery obtained exclusively by Newsweek, Pakistan is aggressively accelerating construction at the Khushab nuclear site, about 140 miles south of Islamabad. The images, analysts say, prove Pakistan will soon have a fourth operational reactor, greatly expanding plutonium production for its nuclear-weapons program.“The buildup is remarkable,” says Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security. “And that nobody in the U.S. or in the Pakistani government says anything about this—especially in this day and age—is perplexing.”Unlike Iran, which has yet to produce highly enriched uranium, or North Korea, which has produced plutonium but still lacks any real weapons capability, Pakistan is significantly ramping up its nuclear-weapons program. Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration, puts it bluntly: “You’re talking about Pakistan even potentially passing France at some point. That’s extraordinary.It’s dangerous because Pakistan is also stockpiling fissile material, or bomb fuel. Since Islamabad can mine uranium on its own territory and has decades of enrichment know-how—beginning with the work of nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan—the potential for production is significant.Although the White House declined to comment, a senior U.S. congressional official who works on nuclear issues told Newsweek that intelligence estimates suggest Pakistan has already developed enough fissile material to produce more than 100 warheads and manufacture between eight and 20 weapons a year. “There’s no question,” the official says, “it’s the fastest-growing program in the world.”For now, the White House appears to have made a tacit tradeoff with Islamabad: for your cooperation in Afghanistan, we’ll leave you to your own nuclear devices. “People bristle at the suggestion, but it follows, doesn’t it?” says Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, formerly the CIA’s chief officer handling terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. “The irony is that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the money we’re giving them to fight terrorism, could inadvertently aggravate the very problem we’re trying to stop. After all, terrorism and nukes is the worst-case scenario.”Hmmmm.....Or Obama and U.S. Foreign policy is the worst-case scenario?Pakistan ...Turkey.....Iran.Read the full story here.
- Why George Mitchell failed.(Jpost).By TawfikHamid.Special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, the man charged with reconciling the Israelis and Palestinians, resigned this weekend.Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader in the US, failed to achieve peace between the two sides. There’s no disgrace in that – the line of failed envoys is long and well-known. He successfully brokered peace in Northern Ireland, but couldn’t even get things started in the Middle East.The question is, why? Obviously, it’s impossible to solve a problem without addressing and treating its true cause. Approaching the Arab-Israeli conflict from the perspective that it is about land, so that giving more land to the Palestinians will solve the problem, is a failed endeavor.Israel has already given Egypt the whole of the Sinai, and got nothing in return except a cold peace and rising anti-Semitism in the country. Similarly the disengagement from Gaza did not magically lead to a decline in the wave of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.Pro-Palestinian Muslim demonstrators across the world repeatedly use the chant “Khyber Khyber Ya Yahood... Gaish Muhammad Sawfa Yaood,” which reminds the Jews that the army of Muhammad is coming back for a repeat of what was done to the Jewish Khyber tribe.According to authentic Islamic history books, the Islamic army, led by Muhammad, annihilated the Jewish tribe of Khyber, raping its women and killing all its men.Such barbaric statements against the Jews have been used by many in the Muslim world, and even inside the US and Europe. Sadly the chant was also used on Friday by thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.The Hamas charter also calls for the destruction of Israel. This violent principle has its roots in the traditional Islamic teaching, based on Hadith books, that encourages the killing of all Jews before the end of days.Until US envoys to the Middle East realize that the problem in the eyes of the Palestinians and their supporters is not the borders of Israel but the very existence of the country, all future missions will similarly fail. Solving the Arab-Israeli conflict must be done initially at the theological rather than the political level, as the former is impeding the latter.It is unfair to ask Israel to trust those who shamefully advocate the killing of Jews, and claim that Islamic annihilation of the Jews by an Islamic army is a model that must be emulated today.The problem is not only in the existence of violent teachings in historical Islamic texts, but also in the dangerous desire of many Islamists and violent Islamic scholars to revive such violence in modern times. Violent texts exist in other religions as well, but we do not generally see such destructive desire to use the texts to justify killing others, and we rarely hear about modern scholars of other faiths who advocate using such texts literally.The problem is that this disastrous anti-Semitic religious dimension is not limited to verses in books, but is also propagated by a powerful media machine that utilizes vicious, Nazi-style propaganda across the Muslim world. Publishing dehumanizing cartoons in the mainstream media, and blaming Jews for nearly every problem in the world has become much too common in the leading Arab media over the past few decades.It is virtually impossible to promote any form of peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict without reducing such levels of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.Until future envoys to the Middle East understand the religious dimension of the problem, and that the Arab- Israeli conflict is not about borders but about the existence of the state of Israel, all future attempts to make peace in the area will fail.The writer is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and a one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of the terrorist organization JI with Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became the second-in-command of al-Qaida. He is currently a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. www.tawfikhamid.com.Hmmmm.....The Problem is ISLAM Dummy!Read the full story here.
- International justice becoming a tool for settling scores – Russian constitutional judge.(RT).“Hailing US initiatives in the fields of fighting corruption, terrorism and drug trafficking, at the same time we have to admit that some of these initiatives enlarge the jurisdiction of American courts too much, almost to the whole of the world.” World powers more and more often use international justice as a means to settle personal scores, believes chairman of Russia’s Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin.He made the statement in his address at an international conference dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials in St. Petersburg.“Excessive use of the institutions of international justice can lead to a situation when such justice ceases to be an international arbitrator but turns into a mechanism in the hands of one of the superpowers or a group of powerful states,” he said. As a result, he believes justice can soon be substituted with “trivial settlement of scores in the form of court verdicts.”Specifically, Zorkin talked about the United States, which in his opinion attempts to extend its jurisdiction to other countries making them obey American laws.“Hailing US initiatives in the fields of fighting corruption, terrorism and drug trafficking, at the same time we have to admit that some of these initiatives enlarge the jurisdiction of American courts too much, almost to the whole of the world,” Zorkin added. In his opinion, national legislation can be replaced by international jurisdiction only in a case of collapse of national statehood.Returning to the main topic of the conference, he cited the example of Nazi Germany and said that was exactly the case when an international tribunal was needed. Read the full story here.
- Iran executes Jewish - American woman.(Ynet).Human rights agency claims Israel-born Adiva Soleyman Kalimia executed at Iranian prison on alleged counts of adultery last March. An Israel-born Jewish woman of Iranian descent and her Armenian Christian husband were executed in Iran over two months ago, an Iranian human rights group reported last Thursday. The Human Rights Activists News Agency claimed Adiva Mirza Soleyman Kalimia and her husband Varjan Petrosian were hung on March 14 at Evin Prison, known for its political prisoners' wing, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The human rights group quoted the Iranian court's confirmation of the executions. Two other men and one woman who remained unidentified were also executed along with the couple. Relatives of the woman said they do not know why she was killed. Soleyman Kalimia was born in Jerusalem in 1956 to a Jewish family of Iranian descent. At one point she moved to Miami and eventually received US citizenship. According to her family, she had two passports: American and European. Her son lives in Europe. In the past few years, for reasons unknown to her family, Soleyman Kalimia began to visit Iran. She was able to enter and leave the country three times, before she was eventually arrested and sent to prison. The official cause for her arrest was adultery, from what little information that is known to her family. Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Michael Posner, spoke before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last Wednesday, and discussed the human rights' situation in Iran.He mentioned that "a Jewish woman and her Armenian-Christian husband were reportedly executed based on undisclosed charges.Mass executions of mainly ethnic minority prisoners have been carried out without their families’ knowledge; Iran has executed at least 135 people this year."Hmmmm.....Scripture quoting President Obama silent about Iran,the buddy of Erdogan, who in his turn is Obama's buddy.Read the full story here.
- Report: Aspiring Islamic Dictator Turkey threatens to leave UN Gaza flotilla inquiry panel over 'Israel-favored' draft.(Haaretz).Turkey threatened Friday to drop out of a United Nations panel investigating Israel's deadly raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May last year, saying the wording of the draft report was in favor of Israel, Turkish daily Hürriyet reported. The report said that Ankara believed the panel was favoring the Israeli view, as its wording fell short of saying Israel violated international law when its naval commanders boarded the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish-sponsored Gaza-bound aid flotilla.“There is a crack on the panel. The talks are not going well," the Hürriyet Daily News reported a diplomatic source as saying, but added that the rough draft "is being worked on.” Israel and Turkey were both handed a draft of the UN report ahead of its intended public release this month, but Turkey's threat to disassociate itself from the report unless radical changes were made has delayed the announcement of the panel’s findings.UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon set up the four-member review panel in August 2010. The panel is led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, who is also an expert in international maritime law, and includes one representative each from Israel and Turkey. The Israeli member of the panel is Joseph Ciechanover, former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Turkish member is Ozdem Sanberk, a former diplomat who held senior positions in the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the United Nations. The panel listened to the representatives for the last time late-April and was expected to make its findings public this month.Hmmmm......Is There no longer a rule of law within Turkey,jailing Journalists ,rejecting UN panel rulings?Read the full story here.
- Egyptian doctors fail to complete angioplasty on Mubarak’s wife after suspected heart attack.(Al-Arabia).Doctors failed to complete an angioplasty on the wife of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a state newspaper said on Monday, potentially prolonging a stay in hospital after anti-corruption authorities ordered Suzanne Thabet Mubarak’s detention.Al-Ahram newspaper cited medical officials as saying doctors at a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh had been due to undertake the angioplasty on Sunday evening.The report did not say why the catheter procedure had failed and did not give a date for any new attempt. Typically, an angioplasty procedure fails when arterial blockages are extremely severe.Angioplasty involves inserting a catheter from the groin to the heart in order to drill open arterial blockages. After blockages have been open, a stent is usually put in place in order to prevent restenosis, or regrowth of the plaque.An anti-corruption agency ordered on Friday that the former first lady be detained for 15 days to investigate charges she abused her husband’s influence for unlawful personal gain. The couple denies the charges.She was admitted to the hospital on Friday after suffering symptoms of a heart attack.It was unlikely Mrs. Mubarak would be transferred to a prison facility in the short term.“Preparing the Tora (prison) hospital (in Cairo) to receive critical cases could take months,” said Nazih Gadallah, who heads the prison service and is an aide to Egyptian Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy, in remarks broadcast by Al Arabiya.Read the full story here.
- Kenyan marathon star falls to death,or was it a coverup for murder?(Al-Jazeera).Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru dead after balcony plunge, as police say they are still investigating whether he jumped.Samuel Wanjiru, Kenya's Olympic marathon champion, has died after falling from the balcony of his home in the town of Nyahururu, Kenya, police say.Police said they were attempting to ascertain whether the 24-year-old Kenyan had deliberately killed himself by jumping off the balcony. They said that he had suffered internal injuries after the fall, late on Sunday, and was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital."I can confirm that Wanjiru is dead. It is not yet clear whether it was a suicide, if he jumped out of rage, or what caused him to fall to the ground," Jaspher Ombati, the regional police chief for the area, told Reuters.Nyahururu is located in the Rift Valley, some 150km northwest of Nairobi, Kenya's capital."He jumped from his first floor balcony to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth, and may have suffered internal injuries," the police chief said."Doctors at the district hospital tried to resuscitate him in vain," said Ombati.Police say they are investigating the possibility of a 'love triangle' that could have been behind Wanjiru's death.Ombati said Triza Njeri, Wanjiru's wife, had come home on Sunday to find him in bed with another woman. She then locked the couple in the bedroom and ran outside.The police chief said that Wanjiru then leapt from the balcony. He added that Njeri and Wanjiru's companion are now assisting police in their investigation.Hmmm.....Yeah.....Whatevah!Read the full fairytale story here.
- Syria Live Blog - May 16. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - May 16. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.7 activity. More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 112.On 16.05.2011 at 03:13 GMT+2
Japanese officials have found an Olympic swimming pool-sized pond of radioactive water in the basement of a unit at the Fukushima nuclear plant crippled by the March earthquake and tsunami. The discovery has forced officials to abandon their original plan to bring the No 1 reactor under control. Now they will focus on how to deal with the rising pool that some experts see as a threat to groundwater and the Pacific coast. Despite the setback, safety officials and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power, hope to stabilise the plant by January.
Situation Update No. 111 - On 15.05.2011 at 15:29 GMT+2
Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two other reactors of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, further complicating the already daunting task of bringing the reactors to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity. The revelation followed an acknowledgement on Thursday that a similar meltdown of the core took place at Unit No. 1. The operator, known as Tepco, said that unit lost its reactor core 16 hours after the plant was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and a giant tsunami on the afternoon of March 11. Workers also found that the No. 1 Unit's reactor building is flooded in the basement, reinforcing the suspicion that the containment vessel is damaged and leaking highly radioactive water. The revelations are likely to force an overhaul of the six-to-nine-month blueprint for bringing the reactors to a safe shutdown stage and end the release of radioactive materials. The original plan, announced in mid-April, was due to be revised May 17. The pressure vessel, a cylindrical steel container that holds nuclear fuel, "is likely to be damaged and leaking water at Units Nos. 2-3," said Junichi Matsumoto, Tepco spokesman on nuclear issues, in a news briefing Sunday. He also said there could be far less cooling water in the pressure vessels of Unit Nos. 2-3, indicating that there are holes at the bottom of these vessels, with thousands of tons of water that was pumped into these reactors mostly leaking out.
Tepco found the basement of the Unit No. 1 reactor building is flooded with 4.2 meters of water. It isn't clear where the water came from, but leaks are suspected in pipes running in and out of the containment vessel, a beaker-shaped steel structure that holds the pressure vessel. The water flooding the basement is believed to be highly radioactive. Workers were unable to observe the flooding situation due to strong radiation coming out of the water, Tepco said. A survey conducted by an unmanned robot Friday found radiation levels of 1,000-2,000 millisieverts per hour in some parts of the ground level of Unit No. 1, a level that would be highly dangerous for any worker nearby. Japan has placed an annual allowable dosage limit of 250 millisieverts for workers. The high level of radioactivity means even more challenges for Tepco's bid to set up a continuous cooling system that won't threaten radiation leaks into the environment. Tepco separately released its analysis on the timeline of the meltdown at Unit No. 1. According to the analysis, the reactor core, or the nuclear fuel, was exposed to the air within five hours after the plant was struck by the earthquake. The temperature inside the core reached 2,800 degrees Celsius in six hours, causing the fuel pellets to melt away rapidly.
Within 16 hours, the reactor core melted, dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and created a hole there. But by then, an operation to pump water into the reactor got under way. This prevented the worst-case scenario, in which the overheating fuel would melt its way through the vessels and discharge large volumes of radiation outside. The nuclear industry lacks a technical definition for a full meltdown, but the term is generally understood to mean that radioactive fuel has breached containment measures, resulting in a massive release of fuel. "Without the injection of water [by fire trucks], a more disastrous event could have ensued," said Mr. Matsumoto. Tepco also released its analysis of a hydrogen explosion that occurred at Unit No. 4, despite the fact that the unit was in maintenance and that nuclear fuel stored in the storage pool was largely intact. According to Tepco, hyrogen produced in the overheating of the reactor core at Unit 3 flowed through a gas treatment line and entered Unit No. 4 due to a breakdown of valves. Hydrogen leaked from ducts in the second, third and fourth floors of the reactor building at Unit 4 and ignited a massive explosion.
Situation Update No. 110 - On 15.05.2011 at 13:11 GMT+2
The Japanese authorities have started evacuation of people who live outside the 20 kilometer radius from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, NHK TV channel reported on Sunday. Families with babies and children up to kindergarten age and pregnant women are the first of the 7,700 residents of two towns to evacuate, the TV channel said. Municipal officials have said they have secured temporary housing for almost all of the residents who want it. Some farmers cannot evacuate soon as they have not been able to find places to move their cattle. Some families cannot move together to designated temporary housing or cannot decide on the place to go as they would be far from work or school, the TV channel said. The Japanese government has expanded the evacuation zone around the plant to areas where cumulative radiation levels are 20 millisieverts or higher per year, the TV channel said. An earthquake and a tsunami that swept northeastern Japan two months ago damaged the cooling system at Fukushima, which resulted in serious meltdown. In mid-April, Japan's nuclear authorities assigned the highest level of danger to the Fukushima nuclear disaster for the first time after the devastating Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Soviet Union in 1986. Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obama's Lawless Thugocracy.(WolfHowling).Somebody explain to me why the Obama regime should not be counted among the most lawless and corrupt we have seen in this country. Here are some examples:
- Under Obama, the National Labor Relations Board, ostensibly a neutral organization, has become radically pro-Union. They have outrageously brought suit against Boeing to force the company to keep all production in unionized Washington. This is an Orwellian assault on capitalism, and indeed, it is an act that ignores both law and seven decades of precedent interpreting that law.
- Obama's newly radicalized NLRB has also brought suit against Arizona because that state passed a law requiring secret ballots for unionizaiton. A secret ballot is the single most basic procedure guaranteeing fair and free elections in any democracy. The only reason to allow any other procedure is to make room for thuggery and intimidation by unions.
- In perhaps his most thuggish act to date, Obama has proposed to sign an Executive Order that would require "all companies (and their officers) . . . to list their political donations as a condition to bidding for government contracts." What that means is that "[c]ompanies can bid and lose out for the sin of donating to Republicans. Or they can protect their livelihoods by halting donations to the GOP altogether—which is the White House's real aim." This is not just thuggery taken to a new level, it seems a clear violation of the First Amendment.
- Immediately after a Federal Court declared Obamacare unconstitutional in toto, the Obama regime announced their intent to ignore the decision and continue implementing Obamacare.
- A federal judge today ruled that the Obama regime acted with “determined disregard” for the law "by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling" after the policy was struck down by the court.
- The regime is now stonewalling Congress, refusing to respond to document requests from the House Oversight Committee. This should be viewed in conjunction with the Obama Justice Dept. refusal to respond lawful subpoenas from the Civil Rights Commission.
- Obama is deeply involved in crony capitalism, picking the winners and losers in our economy. Now we learn that the Obama EPA, which started enforcing draconian new regulations on our energy sector in January, has issued the first waiver to those regulations. The recipient - the biggest of Obama's cronies, GE.
- Obama fired Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General of AmeriCorps, after he caught an Obama crony involved in corruption.
- Obama decided to make recess appointments without even submitting individuals for Congressional confirmation - and at the same time justified his acts as necessary because of Republican obstructionism.
- Obama is in the midst of unilateral, massive land and ocean grabs specifically aimed at shutting off new mining or drilling as part of his jihad on our energy sector. It is Constitutional according to black letter precedent, but yet again Obama is shutting Congress out of the decision making loop.Hmmmm.......Dictatorship?Did you know that only Hitler and Obama have their own Symbols?Read the full story here.
- Another Damaging Power Grab by the Obama Administration.(BigGovernment).Earlier this year, under the title “Who Needs Congress: Legislation by Regulatory Fiat,” we expressed concern that the Obama Administration was moving to checkmate the 2010 Republican electoral sweep by getting its acolytes and bureaucrats in the regulatory agencies, which the Administration controls, to do its legislative work for them. We cited our fears that the agency bureaucrats, most of whom aren’t even confirmed by Congress, would use their almost unlimited power to write regulations and make legal interpretations of, ambiguous at best, legislative language to determine the “will” of Congress in passing legislation it never even read. The common thread, we feared, was to transfer more and more control over the private sector to the Federal government.According to the Washington Examiner’s April 22 edition:“Americans are leaving states with heavy union influence and choosing to live in ‘right-to-work’ states with higher job growth where they cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. With the 2010 census, nine congressional seats will move to right‑to‑work states from forced unionization states. And Americans elected a substantial majority of Republicans to the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. People will be safe in 2011‑12 from the Employee Free Choice Act, a union‑supported bill that would take away workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union elections and impose mandatory contracts between newly unionized firms and workers. But the Obama‑controlled National Labor Relations Board isn’t listening. It wants to do everything in its power to tilt the playing field toward unionization, even if it means lost jobs … Despite a national unemployment rate [in excess of 9 percent] and Americans’ unequivocal preferences for jobs, the board is taking matters into its own hands to expand union power.”So what was the NLRB’s rationale for this unprecedented power grab? The general counsel of the Board claimed that a Boeing executive, by citing the numerous strikes against Boeing at its Puget Sound facility, had shown anti‑union animus, thereby violating federal law. Never mind that numerous companies have, over the last 50 years, moved their facilities or built new ones in right to work states. Job growth in the last 25 years in right to work states has increased while decreasing in non‑right to work states.Of course, we all know that President Obama is focused on jobs, jobs, jobs. Unemployment rose again last month to 9 percent, which is higher than when the president took office in 2009. His anti‑business labor policy sounds more like the marines who after being forced through a punitive workout are required to shout, “May I have another sir?”In short there are countless precedents of businesses relocating to right to work states. No doubt, in this global economy that has kept millions of jobs in America, notwithstanding our non‑competitive corporate tax rates. To tell Boeing, perhaps the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer and one of the dwindling number of major American manufacturers who have not yet outsourced most manufacturing to less expensive locales, where it can and cannot build its production facilities, is not only an illegal and unprecedented expansion of regulatory authority, but it is both a stupid and venal decision. Boeing has, even with the planned Dreamliner shift to South Carolina, actually significantly increased the number of its employees in the state of Washington.One would expect forced labor location decisions in Russia, or China during the Cultural Revolution. This latest Obama administration outrage eclipses almost all of this president’s and his administration’s other power grabs. Hopefully the courts will slap him down and the electorate will remember in 2012 this attempt by the Administration as a serious attempt to override the clear cut law of the land. If not, don’t expect too much investment by business in America when they clearly have other choices. If this power grab stands, our downward economic trajectory will continue and steepen for years to come.Hmmmm.....Democracy ,Thugocracy or Dictatorship?Read the full story here.
- Canada - Firestorm rages through Alberta town.(Macleans).SLAVE LAKE, Alta. - Thousands of people were fleeing their homes Sunday evening as strong winds fanned an out-of-control wildfire into a northern Alberta town where hundreds of buildings were destroyed and many roads to safety were blocked.The Town of Slave Lake advised the community of about 7,000 people to protect themselves from the wildfire by heading for parking lots, beaches or large, green open spaces.A general evacuation was underway."The town is on fire. Apparently there have been a lot of homes that have burned down," said RCMP spokeswoman Doris Stapleton."There's been no loss of life. There's been no injuries we're aware of," she added.Authorities warned residents to not try to flee on the highways since they were closed.Stapleton said the RCMP have called in all available resources to assist in getting people out.Staff-Sergeant Mike Proctor of Slave Lake RCMP said later "probably 30 per cent of the structures" had been destroyed by the fire.He said when the fire hit the town, it was nine square kilometres in size.Although Proctor said two roads leading out of Slave Lake are closed, residents can get out through the road leading to Athabasca.He said the mandatory evacuation was proceeding "as smoothly as it can go."Local radio station 92.7 Lake FM reported on its website that its studio in Slave Lake, as well as the city hall and hundreds of buildings had been lost to the flames.Duncan MacDonnell, a spokesperson for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, said firefighting aircraft cannot fly over Slave Lake because there are wind gusts of up to 100 km/h and the smoke is too thick."The weather conditions there are freakish — the perfect conditions for a firestorm," MacDonnell said.Nearly 30 patients at the hospital in Slave Lake were transported to facilities in other communities, said John Muir, a spokesman with Alberta Emergency Management.The province said equipment and approximately 200 firefighters from B.C. and Ontario are expected to arrive by Tuesday to help Alberta with its fires.Muir said 70 firefighters from the Edmonton area were on their way up to Slave Lake late Sunday night to help.Slave Lake had declared a state of local emergency earlier on Sunday and was taking in evacuees from surrounding communities.Getting out of town on Sunday evening wasn't easy, according to one Slave Lake resident, who said the lineup of vehicles was long."It's crazy," said Scott, who didn't want his last name used. "We've seen a whole lot of vehicles go to the west and then get redirected back to the east."Numerous other blazes burned throughout Alberta on the weekend.A wildfire near Peace River forced cleanup operations at the site of a huge oil pipeline spill last month to be suspended. Plains Midstream Canada, the pipeline operator, said the decision to remove their staff was made after county officials issued an evacuation order Sunday morning.The company said it had also shut the flow on its Rainbow pipeline, which carries crude from its Nipisi terminal to Edmonton, as a precaution.The Lubicon Lake Nation, which is near the area, has evacuated elders, women, children and people with health conditions.Read the full story here,live report here ,photogallery here.
- Ohio State Economists: Obama’s “Stimulus” Bill Destroyed 500,000 Jobs.(Powerline) — Economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor have studied the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the purported stimulus bill) with great rigor. Earlier this week, they reported their findings in a paper titled “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled.” The paper is dense and rather lengthy, and requires considerable study. Here, however, is the bottom line:
Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.Hmmmm......"CHANGE".Read the full story here.
- Video - Scores injured at 'Nakba' rally in Cairo.(Al-Jazeera).Security forces disperse "Nakba Day" demonstrators after group attempts to "storm" Israeli embassy in Egyptian capital.At least 120 people were injured when Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at pro-Palestinian protesters who were trying to storm the Israeli embassy in Cairo.Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the embassy in the capital on Sunday to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" - the day Israel declared its independence and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes.Witnesses said a group of demonstrators later tried to storm the entrance of the embassy, prompting the police's response. At least 20 people were arrested.Al Jazeera's Rob Gilles, who was at the scene, said that some protesters responded by burning tires in the middle of the road and throwing stones."The security forces have made a charge outside the embassy to clear the street in front of it and most of the protesters are being forced back," he said."They've sealed off the main area into it but there is still a determined presence here; they are determined not to move, spurred on by the images they've seen of the Nakba protests in other parts of the Middle East."We've seen a few people laid out on the floor, mainly suffering from gas inhalation more than anything else."Read the full story here.
- Obama Worse than Carter? Barry Rubin points out that Obama may even be worse than Carter. "I'm not saying this lightly. For the first time, there is serious evidence not only for an Islamist-controlled parliament but even potentially for an Islamist president! It's iran all over again except in 1979 Carter didn't publicly demand the shah's overthrow and say he had no problem with Khomeini taking over. In fact, that's what Obama did in Egypt".Hmmmm......Never before there was such an Anti Jewish American President.Read the full story here.
- JW Files FOIA Lawsuit over Obama Justice Department’s Refusal to Defend Federal Marriage Law.(JudicialWatch).In one move in February, Barack Obama and Eric Holder overruled the U.S. Constitution and redefined the institution of marriage. And Judicial Watch wants to know everything about how and why this decision was made.Now we know what the Obama administration has said publicly about its decision.
On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress announcing that the Obama Justice Department would no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman) in two recently-filed cases: Pederson v. Office of Personnel Management and Windsor v. United States.The Attorney General then took it a step further, announcing the Justice Department would not defend DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in any other pending or future litigation:
The president has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The president has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional.
So there you have it. The president “has concluded,” and is now saying publicly, that the U.S. Congress, the American people and the U.S. Constitution are all dead wrong on this issue of gay marriage.
But what went on behind the scenes to lead to this sudden reversal in Justice Department policy?It appears Barack Obama and Eric Holder have arrogantly decided to ignore the Constitution and abandon their responsibility to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” — again! And adding insult to injury, they refuse to answer to the American people for their behavior. There is now little doubt that liberal special interest groups are pulling the strings at the DOJ and dictating the policies of the nation’s top law enforcement organization. You should know that the alliance isn’t only about ideology — it is also about campaign cash for Obama’s reelection. Politico ran a story last week entitled, “Gay donors fuel President Obama's 2012 campaign.” Sure enough, Obama is seeking campaign cash as payment for his abuse of office :
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is banking on gay donors to make up the cash it’s losing from other groups of wealthy supporters who have been alienated and disappointed by elements of Obama’s first term.The article goes on to cite the abandonment of DOMA as one of several policy decisions that are spurring increased support from homosexual activists and that the Obama “campaign’s new fundraising apparatus appears designed to capitalize on their enthusiasm.”You can see why this issue is not only about the rule of law, but naked political corruption. The Justice Department must release these documents and tell the American people exactly why they made the shameful decision to shirk its constitutional obligation to defend DOMA and the interests of the American people.Hmmmmm....Democracy , thugocracy or Dictatorship?Read the full story here.
- How toxic is your currency if even Zimbawe doesn't want it?(DougRoss).THE central bank says the country must consider adopting a gold-backed Zimbabwean dollar warning that the US greenback’s days as the world’s reserve currency are numbered.Government ditched the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 after it had been rendered worthless by record inflation levels and adopted multiple foreign currencies with the US dollar, the South African Rand and the Botswana being the most widely used. “We need to re-think our gold-mining strategy, our gold-liberalisation and marketing strategies as a country. The world needs to and will most certainly move to a gold standard and Zimbabwe must lead the way.”Gono said the inflationary effects of United States’ deficit financing of its budget was likely to impact other countries to leading to a resistance of the green back as a base currency.... “The events of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis demand a new approach to self reliance and a stable mineral-backed currency and to me, Gold has proven over the years that it is a stable and most desired precious metal,” Gono said.“Zimbabwe is sitting on trillions worth of gold-reserves and it is time we start thinking outside the box, for our survival and prosperity.”Zimbabwe is only the latest of a series of countries, whose leaders are to the right of the Obama administration (like Red China, for instance), who are demanding an end to the insane levels of deficit spending.Hmmmm....."CHANGE" !Read the full story here
- FBI Task Force Refuses to Investigate New York City Synagogue Bombing Plot and calls the Terror Case Hyped.(Wnyc).WNYC has learned the lack of Federal participation in the high-profile case of two Queens men allegedly involved in a plot to blow up New York City synagogues and churches was related to concerns it was not a bona fide terrorism case.Two Federal law enforcement sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the FBI did not take the case of the two alleged Queens terrorists because the undercover operation was problematic and the end result was being over-hyped. They also expressed concern the case would ultimately not hold up in court as terrorism case. "Should guys that want to buy guns be off the street, absolutely," one of the Federal officials said.Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne rejected the Federal critique and said "When somebody acquires weapons and plans to bomb the largest synagogue in Manhattan he can find, what do you call it, mischief?"At the press conference announcing the arrests of Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, local officials said the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force had the right of first refusal on all terrorism cases, but had opted out of this one. Officials characterized the case as one involving a "pair of lone wolves" who were not part of a broader global terrorism conspiracy. Both Federal and local terrorism officials have been increasingly concerned about the potential proliferation of such "home-grown" independent actors, likeFaisal Shahzad who tried to set off a car bomb in Time Square to avenge the death of Muslim civilians in US counter-terror strikes.Criminal defense attorney Allan Zegas worked on the elaborate Federal missile sting case that snagged Indian businessman Hemant Lakhani on terrorism charges.He says for a defense attorney, the lack of Federal engagement in this latest case is a major red flag. "Its odd and it is troubling,' said Zegas. "One of the things you don't want to see happening in these cases is for the state and federal governments to become involved in turf wars."Hmmmm....."Renewed outreach to Muslims"?Or CAIR pressuring the FBI?Read the full story here.
- Ayalon: Remember the Real 'Nakba'.(IsraelNationalNews).Arabs across Israel spent this weekend protesting the “nakba” – catastrophe, in Arabic – of the re-establishment of the State of Israel, the 63rd anniversary of which is May 15. Israel celebrates the event on its Hebrew date, which this year was early last week.Nevertheless, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a statement Sunday calling on the public to remember what he called the “real nakba” – that of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.“Today, as the Palestinians and their supporters commemorate their so-called 'Nakba' it is imperative that the catastrophe that befell the Jews from Arab lands be remembered and recognized,” Ayalon said.“While the Arabs in 1948 were involved in hostilities against the Jews, the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa were not present in any theatre of war, yet overnight their citizenship was revoked, their assets stolen and they were expelled or forced to flee,” he noted.Ayalon said he is making the issue a central point within the Foreign Ministry and believes it should be added to any future negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.“In any future agreement with the Palestinians, the issue of the Jewish refugees should be recognized and those who fled, and their descendants, ought to receive redress,” Ayalon said.“This issue has been recognized by United Nations resolutions, peace agreements with our neighbors, in the U.S. Congress and the Knesset. The Palestinian refugee narrative has been allowed to stand uncontested, too few people know about the real “Nakba” that saw the dispossession of almost a million Jews – and it is about time for this to change.”Hmmmm.......Bravo.Read the full story here.
- Israel fires warning shots at Malaysia aid ship.(HurriyetDaily).Israeli naval forces fired warning shots at a Malaysian aid ship as it approached the Gaza Strip on Monday, forcing the vessel to retreat to Egypt, organizers and the Israeli military said."The MV Finch, carrying sewage pipes to Gaza, had warning shots fired at it by Israeli forces in the Palestinian security zone this morning at 6:54 am (0354 GMT)," said Shamsul Azhar from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation."The vessel was in the Palestinian security zone, about 400 meters from the Gaza shoreline, when they were intercepted by Israeli naval forces," he told AFP, adding it was now anchored 30 nautical miles away in Egyptian territory.An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that the vessel, flying a Moldovan flag, had been intercepted as it sailed from Egypt's El-Arish port, where it had been docked for several days. "A navy patrol boat contacted the vessel, which claimed to be heading for the Gaza shores. Once it crossed into Israeli naval territory and didn't answer calls to turn back, warning shots were fired in the air and it returned to El-Arish," she said.The Perdana Foundation is helmed by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad, an 85-year-old firebrand who was a strident critic of the West and Israel over the treatment of Palestinians during his two decades in power.The organisation was also involved in the first "Freedom Flotilla," a 2010 attempt to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which ended in disaster when naval commandos raided the aid ships, killing nine Turks on board one of the vessels.Perdana Foundation officials said the MV Finch left the Port of Piraeus in Greece on May 11 for Gaza, carrying plastic pipes to help restore the "devastated" sewage system in Gaza. Alang Bendahara, a Malaysian journalist on board, told AFP that Israeli naval ships stopped the vessel with a volley of gunfire as it approached the shore."The Israeli naval vessel fired a warning shot at us upon approaching and asked us to leave the waters but the ship's captain refused and the Israelis fired again, circling the MV Finch before firing twice more," he said. "At that point they threatened the ship's captain that they would board the vessel and we were forced to turn back, it was lucky that no one was injured. "Two Egyptian naval vessels were monitoring us and they escorted us once we were in Egyptian waters," said Bendahara."They have now boarded our vessel and are inspecting our cargo to make sure there is nothing illegal on board. They will be escorting us to the port of El-Arish because they say they will detain the ship."The journalist said there were 12 people on board the vessel - seven Malaysians, two Irish nationals, two Indians and a Canadian - including anti-war activists and journalists. Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2006, after militants there snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held.It was tightened a year later when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel says the blockade is meant to stop the ruling Hamas movement from gaining access to weapons, money or material that could be used to attack Israel.Read the full story here.
- Trove of Shoah records goes online.(Ynet).With over 500,000 names and 1,000 photographs, searchable collection offers glimpses of lives of children who survived Holocaust to become moral and spiritual leaders, politicians and artists. A trove of papers and photographs documenting the lives of Holocaust victims and survivors includes notable names like Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin. But Benzion Baumrind's name might have stayed forgotten to his descendants without the records kept by a humanitarian aid agency. A genealogist discovered Baumrind, one of six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, was in her family with one stray document buried in a database of historic papers and photos kept by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. With over 500,000 names, and more than 1,000 photographs, the searchable collection documents the relief organization's vast efforts during World War II and the postwar era in 24 countries, from China and Japan to the Dominican Republic and Bolivia. The records, being made available online for the first time, open a singular view into the lives of survivors that the JDC aided during that cataclysmic period. "We can get broader pictures of the actual everyday social life in the aftermath of war," Kenneth Waltzer, director of the Jewish Studies Department at Michigan State University, said of the collection.Until now, the organization's archive has been largely inaccessible to the public, kept at a private storage warehouse located a short subway ride out of Manhattan. Volunteers entered names in a database for over a year; rare, fragile documents were scanned into the computer system. Users of the site can submit names to identify people they recognize in the photographs, which may be later added to captions. "A website like this is where history meets technology," said Gideon Taylor, an executive with the New York-based committee. "It's taking history out of the dusty files... And bringing it out into the community." The committee plans to put even more documents from its archive online later this summer. The project is one of a growing number around the world aimed at making available on the Internet primary records about the Holocaust. "It is a world phenomenon that's launched by the technology," said David M. Kleiman, president of Heritage Muse Inc., a New York-based genealogy technology firm. Read the full story here.
- Noted Muslim Scholar Bassam Tibi Warns Against Turkish Accession to the EU.(StopTurkey).Bassam Tibi is a Syrian-born Muslim who moved to Germany, acquired German citizenship and became a professor of political science/international relations. He floated the concept of Euro-Islam, arguing that to become authentically European, Muslims in Europe had reform their understand of their religion, abandoning concepts like sharia and the jihad. Now, in this interview he gave to the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung (my translation) he seems to admit that this was a forlorn hope.
Mr Tibi, when you look at the revolutions in North Africa, what predominates, concern or joy?
TIBI: In English they would say it’s a mixed bag: hope and concern. The hope lies in the fact that large parts of the Arab population are on the streets, articulating their unhappiness without fear. My concern, however, is that the islamists, for example in Egypt, are already preparing to take power in the name of democratisation. The islamist movements are the only ones that know what they want. During the time of repression, they were the only opposition, working in the background and with their power bases in Europe: in Germany, Britain and the Scandinavian countries.
Would the EU be well-advised to offer Turkey the prospect of entry in order to prevent this alliance?
That is an incredibly naïve belief in Europe. People say that if Turkey would become a member of the European Union, Turkey would be democratised. But the EU is not a democratisation club. You fulfil the acceptance criteria or you don’t. Greece, too, became a member of the European single currency on the basis of falsified facts. And the EU doesn’t make the Greek economy better. That’s how it is with Turkey in relation to democracy. After the Wikileaks revelations we know this: Turkey’s foreign minister said privately we want to become a member of the EU the better to be able to spread Islam throughout Europe.
Are you completely against Turkey’s EU accession?
In 1998 I spoke out in favour of the accession. At that time the country was still not yet under Islamist rule. I still don’t say no but we need to observe very clearly what is happening there. If Turkey continues to be characterised by this tendency towards Islamism, Europeans should close the door. I don’t want a country controlled by islamists to break the EU like a Trojan horse.
President Abdullah Gül was in Austria on a state visit, and visited an islamist student union of all things. Is there something behind that?
Yes. When he was still foreign minister, Gül asked the German federal government to remove the Islamist movement “Milli Görüs” from the list of anti-constitutional and undemocratic movements. The German authorities pointed out to him that in a democracy, public authorities work independently. Gül didn’t understand that. When the former US President Bill Clinton had problems in the Lewinsky affair, the Syrian president asked the American ambassador why Clinton didn’t just have the prosecutor arrested. That’s exactly how Gül thinks.
20 years ago you invoked a Euro-Islam, a secular Islam that separates itself from the Sharia. Since then, have European Muslims come closer to this ideal?
I have supporters. Last year in Germany they founded a movement: the Association of European Democratic Muslims. I am not a one-man movement, but I have to say candidly that the islamists in Europe, also here in Austria, are stronger than we are. They have more money, more resources. The deceased interior minister Liese Prokop invited me to a dialogue with the former leader of the Muslim religious community. He explained that the association had come to the conclusion that my model had to be emphatically rejected. I said: “If you don’t want to have a European Islam, then you are not for integration.” I stood up and left in protest. You can’t have a serious discussion with these people.Hmmmm....As i said many times before "Keep Turkey out of the European Union and Get Them Out Of NATO!Read the full story here.
- Saudi diplomat killed in Pakistan.(Al-Jazeera). Gunmen on motorcycle opened fire on official's vehicle in southern port city of Karachi, then fled.Gunmen have shot and killed a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, as he was driving to his country's consulate, police and Saudi embassy staff say.Hassan al-Khatani, a diplomat who worked at the Saudi consulate, was shot dead by two gunmen who were riding a motorcyle early on Monday morning, Pakistani police officials said."Two gunmen riding on a motorcycle showered the car with bullets," Zameer Husain Abbasi, a police official, said, adding that a 9mm pistol had been used in the attack.Police say al-Khatani was alone in the vehicle - a silver Toyota Corona - at the time of the attack, which took place about one kilometre from the Saudi consulate. They said he was driving to work from his residence, located nearby."The consulate employee died of multiple bullet wounds on the spot," said Fayaaz Leghari, the provincial police chief for Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.Sharfuddin Memon, a provincial home ministry official, said al-Khatani was a junior officer at the consulate."We condemn this attack. No one who carries out this kind of attack can be a Muslim," Abdul Aziz al-Ghadeer al-Ghadeer, the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, said."We are investigating if it was linked to the Abbottabad operation or was an isolated incident," Leghari said, referring to a May 2 raid by US special forces that killed Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, in Abbottabad."We trust the Pakistani authorities and hope they will identify the terrorists and bring them to justice," Ambassador al-Ghadeer said. The Saudi government described the shooting as a "criminal attack", Saudi state media reported. The government also said that the country would be participating in the investigation, alongside Pakistani police.A Saudi foreign ministry official, meanwhile, told Reuters that security would be raised for diplomats serving in countries deemed to be dangerous, starting with Pakistan.A statement from the ministry said that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistani authorities to increase security around the Saudi embassy and consulate in Pakistan.Prince Saudi al-Faisal offered his condolences to the family of the man who was killed, the statement said.Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister, and Rehman Malik, the country's interior minister, meanwhile, condemned the attack, with Malik saying that "complete security" had been ordered for Saudi nationals stationed in the city.On Wednesday, unidentified attackers hurled two hand grenades at the Saudi consulate in Karachi, Pakistan's commercial hub. The grenades exploded, but no one was hurt in the attack."It would be early to say that [there is a campaign against Saudi interests in Pakistan], even though the Interior Ministry is not ruling that out," reported Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad.Shortly after the attack on Monday, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman said that while his group would not confirm that it was involved in the latest attack, it fully supported it."Whoever has done this, has done a very good job because, like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is also an American slave. In fact, it's two steps ahead of Pakistan. Whichever organisations are engaged in such activities, we fully support them," said Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesman, by telephone from an undisclosed location.Read the full story here.
- Saudi sheik donates billions to charity.(Al-Jazeera).Sheikh Suleiman Al Rajhi, one of the world's richest men, plans to give away lion's share of his $6bn fortune.Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Suleiman Al Rajhi, one of the world's richest men, can now also lay claim to be one of the most generous.The businessman has announced he is donating away much of his $6 billion fortune to charity.It is not known whether the Skeikh had always planned to give away his fortune but the recent regional events may have played a role in his decision.Hmmmm.....With age comes wisdom?Read the full story here.
- Video - Hamas MP and Cleric Yunis Al-Astal: The Jews Were Brought to Palestine for the "Great Massacre" through which Allah Will "Relieve Humanity of Their Evil"(Memri).Read and see the full story here.
- Video - Former Afghan PM and Leader of the Islamic Party Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Response to Bin Laden's Death: The Americans Are "Barbarians, Who Mutilate Bodies"(Memri).Read and see the full story here.
- Saudi woman defies driving ban.(BangkokPost). Saudi mother said Sunday she defied a ban on women drivers in the ultra-conservative kingdom by getting behind the wheel for four days without being stopped.Najla al-Hariri, a housewife in her mid-30s, said she drove non-stop for four days in the streets of the Red Sea city of Jeddah "to defend her belief that Saudi women should be allowed to drive.''"I don't fear being arrested because I am setting an example that my daughter and her friends are proud of,'' Hariri told AFP, adding she was offering driving lessons for women.Hariri said she was an experienced motorist as she had driven for five years in Egypt and another five years in Lebanon, while she could not drive in her own country.In addition to being banned from driving, Saudi women cannot travel without authorisation from their male guardians, and are also not allowed to vote in the municipal elections, the only public polls in the absolute monarchy.When in public, they are obliged to cover from head to toe.Hariri ridiculed the social belief that Saudi women are treated "like queens'' as they are driven around by their male relatives or drivers, saying "this is a big lie.''"We are always under their mercy to give us a lift,'' she said.Meanwhile, a group of Saudi women have launched a Internet-based campaign calling for a nationwide protest drive on June 17 in a bid to get rid of the ban once and for all."On Friday June 17th, we women in Saudi will start driving our cars by ourselves,'' says the Women2Drive page on Twitter.The page for the event on Facebook is entitled "I will drive starting June 17'' and has 1,998 supporters.Hmmmm.....But who has the keys?Read the full story here.