Saturday, June 4, 2011
- Syria Live Blog - June 04. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 04. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 04 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! activity in Turkey.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 128.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Europe - Latest official Situation Update on E-Coli epidemic. Situation Update No. 33
On 04.06.2011 at 04:10 GMT+2. So far, 18 people have died from the strain, which is the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history. Source.
- US: Peace summit instead of flotilla.(Ynet).Turkish newspapers say Washington considering asking Ankara to host Israeli-Palestinian conference in exchange for stopping Gaza-bound sail, ending diplomatic crisis with Jerusalem.The American administration is considering offering the Turkish government a deal, which would see Ankara hosting a peace conference attended by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in exchange for restoring its relations with Jerusalem and stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla planned for late June, Turkish newspaper Zaman reported Friday. According to the flotilla organizers, vessels from several European countries will leave Turkey towards the end of June.Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted sources as saying that the United States would officially ask Turkey to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in exchange for stopping the flotilla and ending the diplomatic crisis with Israel. According to the offer, the summit will continue previous gathering held in the past, including the 1991 Madrid Conference and the secret Oslo negotiations in 1993. A US State Department spokesperson said Wednesday that his country had raised its concerns with the Turkish government regarding any flotilla sailing towards the Gaza Strip. According to the US, any flotilla would be considered an act of provocation since there is already an effective protocol to transfer humanitarian aid into Gaza.State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner raised the issue during a daily press briefing in Washington, saying that in recent conversations with the Turkish government the US warned against organizations planning to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. "We’ve raised our concerns with the Turkish Government as well, and we’ve also met and said publicly as well as privately, meeting with some of these NGOs, about the risk for attempting to break this blockade," said Toner. "We have made clear through the past year that groups and individuals who seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that entail a risk to their safety. I think I’ve talked about this specifically."Toner reiterated that "there are established and efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance through to Gaza, and that’s been our message consistently".Hmmmm.....IF this is true, then why allow the US ship "Audacity of Hope " to leave for Gaza?Nice try Hussein!Read the full story here.
- Was the Faith of Jerusalem discussed in Rome, between the Pope , Biden and Abbas?Was Vice -President Biden in Rome meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also?(CNSnews).U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, a pro-abortion rights Roman Catholic, met with Pope Benedict XVI in an unannounced visit at the Vatican on Friday.Vatican officials said the meeting was strictly private and U.S. officials declined to give details.Biden, who was in Rome to mark Italy's 150th anniversary as a unified nation, is an observant Catholic who nevertheless supports abortion rights. Benedict has long insisted that Catholic politicians follow church teaching on such "nonnegotiable" issues as abortion, which the Vatican strongly opposes.The Vatican did not release a photo of Biden and the pope. The media only learned of the meeting when journalists at the Vatican to cover Benedict's meeting with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas spotted Biden's car in the Vatican courtyard.Hmmmmm........Someone hiding big secrets?Read the full story here.
- Woman handing out the Koran and talking religion outside Outside Bloomington Library Stabs two people.(CBS).Two people were stabbed in a seemingly random attack at a Twin Cities library.After the incident Wednesday night at the Oxboro Library in Bloomington, 35-year-old Samira Abdalla Salim was arrested.Salim was no stranger to the Oxboro Library. She had a reputation for handing out the Koran and talking religion outside the building.“They had some issues with her harassing other patrons,” said Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehlik.But it’s what investigators say she did on Wednesday night that surprised everyone. “I never thought she would do that. She was very nice,” said Anisa Ahmed, Salim’s neighbor. Salim is accused of stabbing two people. The first victim was a woman who was walking into the library.“The next thing she knew, she felt a sharp pain in the middle of her back and realized she had been stabbed,” said Stehlik.The second was a security guard who heard the victim’s cry for help. He went to talk to Salim in the parking lot.“Spoke to her briefly and then she actually stabbed him as well. Stabbed him in the abdomen,” said StehlikBecause Salim lived next door to the library, witnesses identified her right away and she was arrested in minutes.“Nobody was worried about her committing a violent act,” said Stehlik.Fourteen-year-old Ahmed lives next door to Salim and only knows a friendly lady whose kids were friends with her sisters.“She’d greet us every morning … and she’d get to know us,” said Ahmed.Now the question everyone wants answered is why a woman who was not seen as a threat suddenly became violent.“It’s unusual. Somebody minding their own business, walking into library, it doesn’t happen too often where they become victim of assault like this,” said Stehlik.The victims had minor injuries. Police say they weren’t stabbed with a knife but a sharp, pointy object.Hmmmm....."The Djinnis made me do it"?Read the full story here.
- Proof that S.F.’s circumcision ban Is anti-Semitic.(InfidelBloggers).As you may have heard by now, San Francisco will be voting this November on whether or not to ban circumcision in the city.Defenders of the measure say it’s all about “human rights” and “protecting babies” from unnecessary procedures.But critics suspected there was something vaguely anti-Semitic about the whole proposal, since among Jews (and Muslims, as well) circumcising male babies is a religious duty, not just a mistaken medical procedure.Ban proponents insisted their proposal had nothing to do with Jews — really, it’s all about the rights of children.Well, any doubt that they were lying have now been dispelled, with the publication of new campaign literature for the upcoming circumcision ban. The campaign comic book, called “Foreskin Man,” after its baby-saving superhero, features a litany of evil Jews doing battle with blond Nordic saviors.Anyway here's the team of the 'cartoon':
Written and Edited by Matthew Hess
Pencilled and Inked by Gledson Barreto
Colored and Lettered by Ian Sokoliwski
Gledson Barreto is a28 years old, I am natural of the city of Jaguaribe-Ce. It concludes the university in History in the year of 2006, for University of Philosophy Dom Aureliano Matos. Now I am municipal public employee, more specifically of the City councils of Lemon tree of the North, city where I live. In the spare times I work as designer, being that one of my passions. I adore to draw!!! In that area, now drawing for Ed Benes Studio.Ed Benes of DC Comics, the US publishing giant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.Gledson is also A get watchers member.
The Acceptance criteria and submission rules:
NO pornographic content
NO extreme violence and/or gore/horror
NO racism.Hmmmm......I don't know if the comic will stay below the 'racism' threshold?Just strange not to use an American artist ,but an Brazilian .......unless DC comics proposed to use him.Read the full story here .
- Sobibor museum shuts on fund shortage.(Ynet). Lack of funds forces exhibition hall at former Nazi death camp in Poland to close, drawing protests from Jewish groups.A lack of funds has forced a museum housing the former Nazi death camp of Sobibor to close, drawing protests from Jewish groups over the fate of a site where up to 350,000 Jews perished. Poland's culture ministry said on Friday it would take charge of the museum, located in the southeast of the country, from next year, but it was not clear who would care for the 25-acre site in the interim period.The closure comes less than a month after a German court convicted former Nazi prison guard John Demjanjuk for his role in the killing of 28,000 Jews at Sobibor during World War II. Demjanjuk, 91, is appealing against the court verdict. "We have ceased all activity at the site. We cannot afford to keep the place orderly and tidy, it's been completely abandoned. It's hard to accept this," said Marek Bem, spokesman for the museum he co-founded in 1994. Until now, funds from the local municipality and private donors have financed the museum. "It is immoral in a way that the site is largely supported by a very dynamic group of victims' families, while the heirs of the perpetrators are nowhere to be seen," said Bem. The museum needs up to 3 million zlotys ($1.10 million) annually to function and to conduct research, he added.The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants issued a statement deploring the closure."The demands of history and our obligation to the education of future generations must be respected so that this solemn place remain open. Whatever the price of memory, the cost of forgetfulness is so much greater," it said, noting the timing of the move shortly after Demjanjuk's conviction. The group later issued a separate statement welcoming the Polish culture ministry's intervention Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and the second largest in the world before the Nazi German invasion of 1939. Most of its Jews perished in the Nazi camps including Sobibor and nearby Belzec, Treblinka and Majdanek. Set in a swampy forest, Sobibor became the final destination for many Jews not only from Poland but from a number of other European countries. Bem said 13 survivors of the Sobibor camp were still alive.Two years ago, Poland appealed for international financial help to maintain the Auschwitz site. Germany and Britain are among countries that have made donations.Read the full story here.
- Kate and Wills enjoy a day at the races... and the Queen keeps smiling even though her horse finished third at the Derby.(DailyMail).Newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all smiles today as they enjoyed a day at the races, accompanied by royal jester Prince Harry. The trio were clearly enjoying a chuckle as they made their way into the royal enclosure at today's Investec Derby at Epsom.Even the Queen managed to keep a smile on her face, in spite of the fact her horse lost its race.Despite being a favourite to win the Derby in today's race tournament, colt Carlton House - the 5-2 favourite - finished third of the 13 runners.Hmmmm.....Is it me or has Prince William forgotten to slip on his wedding ring?Read the full story here.
- 'No calm in Mideast as long as Israel exists'.(Ynet).Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterates call against Jewish State, says 'as long as Zionist regime exists, if only on a small piece of land in Palestine, the region will not see tranquility'.Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday repeated his assertion that there will be no tranquility in the Middle East as long as Tehran's archenemy, Israel, continues to exist."As long as the Zionist regime exists, if only on a small piece of land in Palestine, the region will not see tranquility" he said to a crowd gathered at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the revolutionary leader's death."So all the people of the region shall move towards the disappearance of American domination in the region and the disappearance of the Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, which was broadcast live on state radio.Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also made comments, saying that Iran backs "the undivided country of Palestine which belongs to the Palestinians.""Palestine will return to the arms of Islam, without any doubt," he added. Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic revolution and backs Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups fighting against it.in late May reacted to President Barack Obama's landmark speech on the Middle East, dubbing the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a "satanic plan" doomed to "fail."Obama said in the speech in mid-May that the borders of Israel and Palestine "should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."Hmmmm.....Honestly Mahmoud you're become a bit of a bore ,always the same tune.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Teen wife killed by 62-year-old husband’s gun.(Emirates247).An 18-year-old Saudi woman died after she was shot by a gun owned by her 62-year-old husband and police are investigating whether it was suicide, a newspaper reported on Saturday.Police rushed the unnamed women to hospital but she died on arrival, Almadina said in a report from the southern province of Jazan.“Police found that the gun belongs to the victim’s husband…they are investigating whether it was suicide or she was shot by some one else.”Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- Egypt reopens Rafah crossing after Palestinian breach.(JPost).Video -After bus loads of passengers left waiting at the shut Rafah border, angry Palestinians force gate open; tensions grow between Hamas and Egypt.Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza Saturday afternoon, after dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza stormed the crossing's iron gate. According to Israel Radio, Egypt had delayed the border's opening Saturday morning by nearly three hours. Palestinian border officials said three buses filled with 180 passengers had waited several hours to cross the border at Rafah, the Hamas-ruled gateway to Egypt, and some of those waiting responded by forcing the gate open."We have not been notified of any reason for the closure, passengers are angry," one of the officials told Reuters.Palestinian news channel Ma'an reported that Egyptian authorities said the border was closed due to "works" in progress. The unexpected closure came only days after Egypt announced that the number of travelers allowed to cross into Rafah would be limited to between 350 and 400 people a day.The new restrictions strained relations between Hamas and Egypt less than a week after the border crossing was reopened.Salameh Baraka, director of Hamas’s border crossing police in the Gaza Strip, denounced the restrictions as unreasonable, said they were a setback and called on Cairo to reconsider its move.He added that the Egyptians justified the restrictions by arguing that they were unable to accommodate more than 400 people per day.The Egyptian envoy to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, denied that the restrictions were the result of external pressure on the Egyptian authorities. He said there was no change in Egypt’s decision to reopen the border crossing and blamed technicalities and logistics for the delays and limits.Read the full story here.
- Sudanese Christian Woman Arrested for Evangelizing; Another is Attacked.(OpendoorUSA).In Darfur Region in northwestern Sudan, Hawa Abdalla Muhammad Saleh was arrested on May 9 in the Abu Shouk camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Al-Fashir, capital of North Darfur state, sources told Compass News. Abdalla has yet to be officially charged, but authorities have accused her of possessing and distributing Bibles to others in the camp, including children. Sources said she could also be tried for apostasy, which carries the death sentence in Sudan. Abdalla has been transferred to an unknown location in Khartoum, sources said, adding that they fear she could be tortured, as she was previously detained and tortured for six days in 2009. The arrest comes as northern Christians become more vulnerable to official and societal pressure with South Sudan set to split from the predominantly Muslim north on July 9.At the same time, in Khartoum, a Christian mother of a 2-month-old baby was wounded because she and her husband left Islam for Christianity. On May 4, knife-wielding, masked assailants attacked Omar Hassan and Amouna Ahamdi, both 27. Hassan told Compass News that his wife was injured while trying to protect him.This recent attack was not the first for Ahamdi. Earlier, before she met and married Hassan, her brother had stabbed her three times in the stomach, seriously injuring her spleen after she told him she had become a Christian. In the violent outburst, her brother also broke her left leg. She was rushed to a local hospital where she met Hassan, also a convert who had also suffered for his faith. Hassan had heard about her suffering and had gone to visit her while she healed from the injuries. After a partial recovery, Ahamdi was discharged back to the hostile home where she had been attacked. “You don’t deserve to be a member of my family,” her angry father shouted at her, she said. Her family locked her in a room, shackled to a wooden chair, and severely beat her for a month. “They shaved all my hair and my father whipped my head,” Ahamdi said. “But neighbors used to sneak in secretly, and provided me food and water.”“I found a chance to escape to the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS), where I got married to Hassan,” she said. Her health however continued to deteriorate, and the doctors recommended she be transferred to Khartoum for specialized treatment. “With a small amount of money, we managed to reach Khartoum by train, where my uncle hosted us, not knowing that we were Christians,” she said. Hassan had also suffered greatly for his faith. Born the son of an imam belonging to the Ansar Al-Sunna, a sect of Sunni Muslims, he started questioning the Quran while accompanying his father on a preaching mission. A high-profile Muslim from Europe happened to be in the area, and young Hassan asked him questions about Muhammad and Jesus. He found no immediate answers and decided to be without faith. His father became so angry that he denied Hassan all basic needs. Hassan began comparing Christianity and Islam with a workmate. His friend invited him to visit a church, and Hassan also began attending a Bible study. Hassan said he began having dreams and visions and heard a voice saying, “This is the way.” He told this to a church pastor, who said that it referred to Jesus saying it of Himself in John 14:6. “A desire for attending church grew in me, and thereafter I got baptized,” Hassan said. “One morning, when I was on my knees praying, my father entered into the room and found me. He closed the door and invited seven relatives plus my elder brother, who started beating me with sticks and broke my shoulder. I almost lost my sight. My elder brother helped me escape to the pastor’s house.” When his father realized that he remained a Christian, he ordered him to leave and never return. This was in 2007. Over the next several years Hassan moved several times. The ESC congregation sent him to Shokaya Bible Institute for six months where upon completion he returned where he met and married Ahamdi in June 2010. Now living in Khartom, Hassan and Ahamdi depend on friends to provide them occasional food. They sometimes go without eating for days. In addition, they have been given notice to vacate Ahamdi’s uncle house after he discovered that they had converted. “Life is becoming unbearable for us here in Khartoum,” said Hassan. “We cannot deny Christ – this is a big challenge to us, because we do not have a place to go,” said Ahamdi, through tears. “We have no food, and we are jobless. I am still in pain, besides having a 2-month-old baby boy to care for.” Sudan (North) is number 35 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries of the world where persecution of Christians is most severe. The U.S. Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report 2010 notes that while Sudan’s Interim National Constitution provides for freedom of religion throughout the country, it establishes sharia (Islamic law) as a source of legislation in the north. Concern is growing as the July 9 date approaches when the referendum will be complete dividing the North and South into two separate states. Hmmmm........Where's the so called Christian President defender of the oppressed?Ah gone golfing ......again. His 13th outing this year and the 71st of his presidency.Read the full story here.
- Driver kills 3 Egyptian soldiers at checkpoint in the northern Sinai.(Emirates247).Egyptian security officials say a truck driver drove through a checkpoint in this northern Sinai city, killing three soldiers and badly injuring a fourth as they slept in their tent.The officials said Saturday that the man drove through a checkpoint while exiting the city of el-Arish, chasing away the soldiers manning it.The truck then swerved toward a roadside tent, killing three sleeping soldiers and badly injuring a fourth.The officials said the driver is in custody. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.They said it was not clear why the driver stormed the checkpoint.Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely Different.Armchair astronaut discovers Mars 'space station' using Google earth.We have all heard of little green men from Mars.But now an American 'armchair astronaut' claims to have discovered a mysterious structure on the surface of the red planet - by looking on Google earth.David Martines, whose YouTube video of the 'station' has racked up over 200,000 hits so far, claims to have randomly uncovered the picture while scanning the surface of the planet one day.Describing the 'structure' as a living quarters with red and blue stripes on it, to the untrained eye it looks nothing more than a white splodge on an otherwise unblemished red landscape.He even lists the co-ordinates 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W so others can go see the anomaly for themselves.In a pre recorded 'fly by' video of the object, Mr Martines describes what he thinks the station might be.He said: 'This is a video of something I discovered on Google Mars quite by accident. 'I call it Bio-station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it.'It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders.'It could be a power station or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage - hope it's not a weapon. 'Whoever put it up there had a purpose I'm sure. I couldn't imagine what the purpose was. I couldn't imagine why anybody would want to live on Mars. 'It could be a way station for weary space travellers. It could also belong to NASA, I don't know that they would admit that. 'I don't know if they could pull off such a project without all the people seeing all the material going up there. I sort of doubt NASA has anything to do with this. 'I don't know if NASA even knows about this.'The 'discovery' is similar to that of the infamous 'face on Mars'Uncovered by the Viking 1 probe in 1976, a quirk of geography threw shadows over a small hill on the Cydonia region of Mars, making the inanimate rock look like a carved face.The picture was heralded as proof of an alien civilisation by some but was dismissed as a mere trick of the light by scientists at NASA.MailOnline has tried to contact both NASA and Goggle for a response to the image, but neither has replied.Read and see the full story here.
- Syria Live Blog - June 04. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 04. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 04 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! activity in Turkey.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 128.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Europe - Latest official Situation Update on E-Coli epidemic. Situation Update No. 33
On 04.06.2011 at 04:10 GMT+2
Europe's severe outbreak of Escherichia coli bacterial infections worsened further as more people succumbed to the lethal strain in Germany and around Europe. Total reported cases in Germany reached 1,733, with 520 of those resulting in severe complications that can lead to kidney failure, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a research body funded by the German Health Ministry. Cases have been reported in at least 11 other European countries. Meanwhile, there were four suspected cases in the U.S., said Chris Braden, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director of food-borne, waterborne and environmental diseases. He said all the cases involved people who had recently traveled to Germany. The Spanish, Portuguese and German governments said on Friday that they would request EU aid for farmers affected by the outbreak, which is costing farmers millions of euros as mountains of vegetables sit rotting and uneaten. The source of the outbreak still hasn't been found, and authorities continue to warn against eating raw lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. So far, 18 people have died from the strain, which is the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history.
- Erdogan admids in electronic eavesdropping on a political party ahead of Turkish vote.(Arabnews).ISTANBUL: Evidence of electronic eavesdropping on a political party just over a week before an election has given opposition leaders ammunition to question the state of Turkey’s democracy under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.Controversy flared around Erdogan after he said earlier this week that opposition parties were ganging up to stop his AK party winning more seats in the Kurdish southeast, and that a recording would be released to prove it.“I think the voice recordings will be published today or tomorrow,” Erdogan said in a televised campaign speech in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Wednesday.The recordings were released on Thursday.The frank admission of foreknowledge stunned some political commentators in a country where many people avoid talking on the telephone about politics for fear that someone is listening in.“I was frozen for a moment when I heard him say this on television,” Murat Yetkin wrote in Radikal newspaper on Friday.“The prime minister was announcing a recording of a conversation between two members of another political party and was saying it would be released on the internet soon,” Yetkin said in a column that drew parallels with the Watergate scandal that brought down US President Richard Nixon in 1974.Campaigning for re-election on June 12, and assured of a victory, according to opinion polls, Erdogan has promoted himself as a champion of democracy, and is planning to rewrite the constitution during his third consecutive term in office.Critics accuse his religiously conservative party of having a secret Islamic agenda, an accusation which it rejects.The recording at the center of the row allegedly caught two members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) discussing plans for strategic voting by BDP supporters to help a rival nationalist party stop the AK winning more seats in the Elazig constituency.The BDP is regularly accused of links to Kurdish militants fighting in a separatist insurgency.The leader of the center-left main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) seized on the recording to attack what he called “a wiretapping government” and Erdogan.“He knows about all the tapes. He knows about all of them, watches them before they’re released, then announces them to the public,” CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu said during an election rally in Bartin, near the Black Sea, on Thursday.“You are the prime minister. How can you face the people and tell them an illegal recording is being released?” he asked.One of the BDP officials, whose voice was said to have been recorded, insisted there had been no such conversation and the tape was a fake created by intelligence agents working for Erdogan.“We don’t know what to call this country now, a dictatorship, a rule of hypocrisy, or fraud? The prime minister orders the producing of fake documents, tapes,” Gultan Kisanak said on Kurdish channel Roj TV on Thursday evening.The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has accused the AK and its backers of using dirty tricks after the release last month of videos online showing MHP politicians in “sex videos” with women who were not their wives.Erdogan denied that his party had anything to do with the scandal that forced the resignation of 10 MHP leaders.Hmmmmm.......Welcome to Turkey.....Iranian style.Read the full story here.
- 'What are you waiting for': U.S. born Al-Qaeda spokesman calls on Americans to 'buy guns and start shooting people'.(DailyMail).In a chilling new video, U.S. born Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn calls on American Muslims to buy weapons from gun shows and carry out random, lone-wolf attacks.The video, called 'Do Not Rely on Others, Take the Task Upon Yourself', was produced by al Qaeda's as Sahab media team and shows 32-year-old Gadahn speaking alongside old clips of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin laden.The proposed switch in tactics from organised bombings to lone-wolf style attacks will worry the security services who find tracking individuals much harder than uncovering pre-planned plots.In a calm voice, California-native Gadahn tells Muslims it is easy to get weapons from gun shows and carry out random attacks.He said: 'America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. 'You can go down to a gun show at the local convention centre and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card.'In one section of the video the logos of Exxon, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America are shown as possible targets.Gadahn then goes on to give encouraging words for any would be terrorists.He continues: 'Getting to these criminals isn't as hard as you might think.'I mean we've seen how a woman knocked the Pope to the floor during Christmas mass, and how Italian leader Berlusconi's face was smashed during a public appearance.'So it's just a matter of entrusting the matter to Allah and choosing the right place, the right time, and the right method.'Target major institutions and public figures. 'Do Not Rely on Others, Take the Task Upon Yourself.'What are you waiting for?Hmmmm.....'Misunderstander' of the religion of peace?Read and see the full story here.
- Palestinians storm Gaza border closed again by Egypt.(Al-Arabia).Dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Saturday stormed the iron gate of a border crossing with Egypt shut for the first time since it reopened late last month, Hamas border officials and witnesses said.Palestinian border officials said three buses filled with 180 passengers had waited several hours to cross the border at Rafah, the Hamas Islamist-ruled territory's gateway to Egypt, and some of those waiting responded by forcing the gate open."We have not been notified of any reason for the closure, passengers are angry," one of the officials told Reuters.Ayub Abu Shaa, head of the Hamas police unit at Rafah, said phone calls to the Egyptian side went unanswered and a crowd of hundreds of Palestinians seeking to cross to Egypt were faced with a locked gate.According to a security source in Egypt, the crossing remained closed for works which were to have been completed on Friday and efforts were underway to allow through Palestinian buses.Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing, the only way in and out of Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, last month after it had been largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a blockade after militants snatched an Israeli soldier.The Israeli blockade was tightened a year later when the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the territory, with Egypt cooperating by tightly restricting movement through Rafah.Egypt's decision to permanently reopen Rafah came more than three months after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned following 18 days of massive street protests against his rule.The sudden closure came a day after Lebanon barred its residents from approaching the border with Israel on Sunday, when the Palestinians mark 44 years since the seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War.Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab states neighboring Israel have said they plan to march on the Jewish state's borders to mark the anniversary.Read the full story here.More here .
- Taitz v. Astrue: Judge Lamberth Gives Orly the Green Light To Go After Obama's Social Security Number Reserved for Connecticut Applicants!?Two new orders issued in the FOIA lawsuit against Social Security Administrations Micheal Astrue regarding Obama's social security number reserved for Connecticut applicants. According to the first order atty Taitz has 14 days to refile her First Amended Complaint. The Defendants'(SSA) filed a Motion to Strike Plaintiff's(Taitz) Complaint, First Amended Complaint and attached exhibits. On June 1 Chief Judge Royce Lamberth granted that motion in part and denied it in part. According to the order attorney Orly Taitz must redact the SS#'s in her complaint and refile it.The order reads: ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT, FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, AND ATTACHED EXHIBITS This court, having considered Defendants’ Motion to Strike Plaintiff’s Complaint, First Amended Complaint, and attached exhibits, It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants’ motion is GRANTED, in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff’s Complaint, First Amended Complaint, and all attached exhibits shall be removed from the public record and filed under seal. Plaintiff is directed to refile those documents with properly redacted social-security numbers on the public record within 14 days of this date.SO ORDERED, this 1st day of June 2011. - Stamped Order embedded below...Second order issued by Judge Lamberth is the Scheduling Order, also embedded below...Via atty Taitz: Did White House counsel, Robert Bauer, get an early warning of the order by Judge Lamberth on June 1st, which prompted his resignation on June 2nd???Chief judge of the U. S. district court in the District of Columbia, Royce Lamberth, issued his scheduling order on June 1st. What is important, that it says, that the FOIA cases are exempt from the initial meet and confer, which means that there is no need for Rule 26 conference, so the discovery is on, which means, that the deposition of the White House Counsel regarding Obama’s fraudulent use of the Connecticut Social Security number 042-68-4425 and his use of the forged birth certificate, can go on. Robert Bauer could get deposed. Typically the White House gets an early warning of what is going on in courts, particularly in the DC courts. I wonder, if the White House Counsel Robert Bauer got information from one of the clerks, that the case will go on, which prompted his resignation the next day, on June the second. The clerks held on to this order and filed the June 1 order by judge Lamberth 2 days later, on June the 3rd. I got this information via PACER only a few minutes ago, even though I am the plaintiff on the case..Hmmmmm.......The obot lawyers are very nervous about what has taken place.Read the full story here.
- Literature for SF's anti-circumcision measure stars "monster" rabbis and blonde superheroes.(SFGate).San Francisco's anti-circumcision measure will be decided by voters in November, but the literature for the movement aims to sway them with some disturbing images -- including dark, evil-looking rabbis and a blonde superhero saving babies from their clutches.The measure, supported by self-described "intactivists," would make circumcision performed on anyone under 18 a misdemeanor, even if it is done for religious purposes.It would be punishable by a $1000 fine, or up to a year in jail.But that's not the half of it: check out the eye-opening "Foreskin Man,'' the comic book for this anti-circumcision movement that uses images critics are calling blatantly anti-Semitic.It was reported this week by Chronicle comrade and op-ed columnist Debra J. Saunders.Saunders interviewed Matthew Hess, author of the upcoming anti-circumcision referendum this week. His website, mgmbill.org -- which pushes "a bill to end male genital mutilation in the United States" --also pushes his literature and merchandise starring "Foreskin Man," shown here at right.The star cover image of his comic book shows a dark, bearded rabbi looming over a naked baby laying on a pool table, as a superheo appears ready to save the child.Saunders asked Hess if his comic is anti-Semitic. His answer: "A lot of people have said that, but we're not trying to be anti-Semitic. We're trying to be pro-human rights."He told her the "next issue will deal with a different kind of circumcision."Meantime, Hess is pushing his political effort with other dark, threatening images of Jewish characters.His "Foreskin Man" card set being sold through Cafe Press feautures the terrifying-looking "Monster Mohel."The astounding description of a person qualified to perform the Jewish rite of circumcision:"Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the infantile penile flesh of an eight day old boy."Of course, there is a real political debate going on here: supporters of a ban on circumcision say that it's an unnecessary and outdated practice. Opponents of a ban note that centuries of religious practice support it, and vow to mount legal challenges.However the voters of San Francisco decide, the incendiary literature at use to support this measure is sure to add fuel to the fire.Hmmmm.....it's just anti-semitic.Read the full story here.
- Treasury Continues To Dip Into Retirement Accounts, Prepares To "Take Out" $66 Billion Chunk To Make Room For New Bond Issuance.(ZeroHedge).Today, very quietly, the Treasury released its latest refunding announcement, in which it disclosed it would issue another $66 billion in 3, 10 and 30 Year notes next week. The irony of course is that the US is and continues to be at its debt ceiling limit (or just $25 million short of it), at a total of $14,293,975 million. Furthermore, as was also disclosed by the Treasury, this gross issuance will also be the net amount added in marketable debt, as upon settlement on June 15, there will be no redemptions of maturing bonds. Which simply means that the continued "disinvesting" (which is merely a polite word for plundering) from intragovernmental debt, also known as retirement accounts, is about to kick into high gear. As a reminder, the only solution that Geithner currently has to run the government, at least until August 2 when even this runs out, is to slowly drain the debt in non-marketable accounts, in the form of Suspension of G-Fund and ESF reinvestments, as well as the Redemption and suspension of of CSRDF Investments, measure which when combined will provide a short-term buffer of $232 billion. Yet for all practical purposes, what is happening is that retirement accounts are now being seriously plundered, and if the unthinkable were to happen, and the debt ceiling would not rise, not only would the US be in technical default, but various retirement funds, which already are underfunded, would find themselves even more severely in the Red. As the chart below shows, the total amount of intragovernmental debt currently outstanding, has dropped to levels last seen in early April, even as total debt has continued its steadfast move higher. The scary thing is that by the time August 2 rolls around, the current total of $4.608 trillion in various Trust Funds, will drop to well about $4.4 trillion, or an implicit 6% underfunding in 2 months merely to keep the bloated government operating for a few more months. Read and see the full story here.
- NATO launches helicopter strikes in Libya.(Al-Jazeera). Attack helicopters used for the first time, as opposition fighters advance towards the capital Tripoli.NATO has for the first time used attack helicopters in Libya, striking military vehicles, military equipment and forces backing embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi, the military alliance has announced.British and French attack helicopters were used to strike inside the country overnight on Saturday, hitting targets in the oil port of Brega."Attack helicopters under NATO command were used for the first time on 4 June 2011 in military operations over Libya as part of Operation Unified Protector," NATO said in a statement."This was the first operational mission flown by British Army Apaches at sea," said Liam Fox, the British Secretary of State for Defence."The additional capabilities now being employed by NATO further reinforces the UK's enduring commitment and NATO's determination to... ensure that the people of Libya are free to determine their own future," he added.Military analysts say attack helicopters will allow more precise strikes against pro-Gaddafi forces hiding in built-up areas than the high-flying jets used so far, while reducing the risk of civilian casualties.But on Saturday, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, warned that the NATO operation in Libya was "sliding towards" a land campaign, the RIA Novosti news agency reported."We know that France and Britain intend to use military helicopters. We have given our view of NATO's actions," Lavrov said."We consider that what is going on is either consciously or unconsciously sliding towards a land operation. That would be very deplorable," he added."We think our Western partners understand that the events in Libya are taking an undesirable turn, but the decisions that have been taken are continuing by momentum."France was contributing four Tiger attack helicopters for the NATO operation while Britain offered four Apaches, officials said, adding that the helicopters were being prepared to fly over sea and desert conditions.Read the full story here.
- 'US drone kills Ilyas Kashmiri Pakistan's al-Qaeda leader'.(Al-Jazeera).Ilyas Kashmiri, thought to be mastermind of several deadly attacks, reportedly killed in strike in South Waziristan.A suspected US drone attack in Pakistan has reportedly killed a senior al-Qaeda leader, thought to be linked to the deadly Mumbai attacks in 2008.Witnesses said Ilyas Kashmiri was one of several al-Qaeda fighters killed in South Waziristan on Friday night.The drone attack targeted a group of armed fighters 20km from South Waziristan's main city of Wana, an official told the BBC Urdu service.The official said the attack killed nine people and injured three others.Another official confirmed to Al Jazeera that one of those killed was indeed Kashmiri, although the Pakistani intelligence and security officials said they had no information about his death.A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which has strong ties to al-Qaeda, denied the reports and said Kashmiri was still alive.Kashmiri was on a list of five dangerous al-Qaeda leaders that the US state department gave to the Pakistani government.Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said that while the drone strike had been confirmed, its victims had not yet been officially named."If he has indeed been killed in this drone strike than it certainly is a major development and a huge success for the US and the drone programme, which is deeply unpopular in Pakistan," Tyab said.More than 200 US drone attacks have occurred in Pakistan since 2008.Kashmiri was the chief of the Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HJI), an organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda.He was a key suspect in the co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai that left more than 160 people dead and brought India and Pakistan - two nuclear rivals - close to another war.He is also widely believed to have masterminded last month's attack on a naval base in Karachi.This is not the first time Kashmiri has been suspected as the victim of a drone attack, as he was reported to have been similarly killed in September 2009.Read the full story here.
- US Aid To The Arab Spring Must Go To Democracy Groups Not To The Islamists.(BigPeace).President Obama’s grand plan to provide U.S. financial aid to emerging democracies in the Middle East, Egypt and Tunisia now, and possibly later a post-Saleh Yemen and post-Assad Syria, may be commendable but could bring catastrophic results.If the billions in foreign debt-to-be-forgiven or granted in cash to be invested will be used by democratic governments in the region to move their societies away from fundamentalism, radicalism and inequality toward secular, liberal democracy, then the financial support is commensurate with American ideals, the will of the American people and their elected leaders.If the aid will be used to fund programs instituted by the Islamists and their movements, old and new, then the Obama administration’s new Middle East initiative will cause greater injustice for the peoples of the region, and eventually produce greater conflicts for future American generations.President Obama’s speech and comments by his advisers attempted to liken the alleged “historic” aid package for the countries arising out of the Middle East revolts, to the Marshall Plan which helped many European countries cope with post-World War II economic stresses.The major difference then and now between Europe and the Middle East is that European societies had already experienced and were returning to democracy after a few years of fascism and most of the Arab world has no experience with liberal democracy and those societies that have arisen against authoritarianism are still threatened by jihadi fascism.A “Marshall Plan” for the Arab world should come after the defeat of that region’s version of fascism, not before. The aid should reward societies for defeating the Salafist and Khomeinist ideologies, not fund their ascendance.It was secular youth and minorities in Egypt who triggered the popular uprising. The Muslim Brotherhood, a movement dedicated to a theocratic regime and the elimination of liberal democracy, quickly — and with Washington’s stealthy backing — seized the revolution’s microphone, positioned itself at the center of the uprising, and branded itself as the “soul” and “future” of the movement, even though the Muslim Brotherhood did not make up more than 15 percent of the mass of demonstrators in Tahrir Square.Well organized and funded, the Ikhwan, will insert themselves into the electoral process as part of the youth majority. The Christian minority is disorganized and politically marginalized.In Washington, academics and advisers have convinced the Obama administration that a post-Gadhafi Libya, a post-Saleh Yemen, and eventually, a post-Assad Syria will make the Islamists the new U.S. partners in the region. Thus, Mr. Obama’s speech on future U.S. Middle East policy reflects an adaptation to these anticipated changes. The U.S. will recognize the Islamists and try to ingratiate them with a “Marshal Plan” to solidify their rule even if they only pay lip service to “representative democracy.”The Islamists’ voices are not the only ones seeking to be heard in the region. Other voices are speaking out against the alliance between the greatest democracy in history and the Islamists.Liberal voices of the Egyptian, Tunisian, and Syrian uprisings have been signaling an urgent SOS to the free world over the Arabic airwaves: “Do not abandon us for a pragmatic alliance with the Islamists.”An Egyptian youth made a very concerning comment on Al-Hurra television this week, revealing that the Obama administration has cut off all funding in support of liberal and democratic NGOs in the region: “How come the Islamists will be gratified with a huge Marshall Plan while those who want to build a true democratic Middle East are ignored? Is the Obama administration replacing old authoritarians with new ones, and with U.S. taxpayer dollars?”Hmmmm......"I will stand with my Radical Muslim Brothers"?Read the full story here.
- It's time to confront this taboo: First cousin marriages in Muslim communities are putting hundreds of children at risk.(DailyMail).The man wept as he told how his beautiful, dark-eyed child died in a hospital cot with medical tubes snaking from his frail body as nurses fought unsuccessfully to save him. Sick with pneumonia, the two-year-old gave up the battle for life.A rare tragedy, you might think, in modern Britain, with all the advances of medical science. But in the terraced streets of Bradford, Yorkshire, a child’s death is anything but rare. At the boy’s inquest, coroner Mark Hinchliffe said Hamza Rehman had died because his Pakistan-born parents (shopkeeper Abdul and housewife Rozina) are first cousins. Four years before, Hamza’s older sister, three-month-old Khadeja, had died of the same brain disorder which causes fits, sickness and chest infections. The couple had another baby born with equally devastating neurological problems. A heartbroken Mr Rehman told the inquest that he and his wife were unsure whether to have any more children. The coroner expressed deep sympathy before saying that Hamza’s death should serve as a warning to others.He said: ‘This highlights a cultural and religious issue relating to first-cousin marriages and the potential risk to children that some medical experts say can result from such unions.’The coroner chose his words carefully, since he was addressing one of the most controversial — and taboo — subjects in multi-cultural Britain: marriage between cousins in the Muslim communities which has left hundreds, if not thousands, of children damaged or dead. This week, leading geneticist Professor Steve Jones, of University College London, warned that ‘inbreeding’ in Islamic communities was threatening the health of generations of children.This is not the first time the distressing issue has been raised. Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for nearby Keighley, has said that cousin marriages are medieval, harm children and are arranged in order to keep wealth and property within families. ‘It is not fair to the children or to the NHS which has to treat them. If you go into a paediatric ward in Bradford or Keighley, you will find more than half the kids are from the Asian community,’ she said.Since Asians form only 20 to 30 per cent of the population, that figure is clearly disproportionate.Mrs Cryer recalled the case of a young girl in hospital who had to carry an oxygen tank on her back and breathe from a hole in the front of her neck.‘Her parents were warned by doctors not to have more children,’ she explained. ‘But when the husband returned again from Pakistan, his wife had given birth within months to another child with exactly the same condition.’Are the MP’s words, and those of Professor Jones, inflammatory or simply a truth that needs to be aired?Sadly, the facts speak for themselves. British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin (a figure that is universally agreed), are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research. One in ten children from these cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-threatening disability. While British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15,000 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects. The vast majority of problems are caused by recessive gene disorders, according to London’s Genetic Interest Group, which advises affected families.The problem is most serious in Bradford. A recent survey of 1,100 pregnant women in the city showed that 70 per cent have husbands who are first cousins — a higher percentage than the average of 50 per cent among Pakistanis across the whole of Britain.It is no surprise therefore that more than six per cent of children in Bradford have health defects, with paediatric wards looking after countless children, including teenagers lying in nappies who are unable to speak and are fed through a tube. Meanwhile, the city’s special schools struggle to cope with huge numbers of pupils with learning difficulties. Bradford’s St Luke’s Hospital has seen an extraordinary rise in the number of different types of genetic disorders. Some are very rare and, hitherto, unknown in Britain. In a typical health authority area, the range of different types of genetic disorder total 25 a year. But in Bradford, 140 have been diagnosed, according to Dr Peter Corry, a consultant paediatrician at the hospital. Many are degenerative ailments which lead to a decline in the ability of the brain and spinal cord to function properly after a child is born, as in the case of Hamza and Khadeja. Their bodies weakened, and unable to fight off infections, they gradually faded away. The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit says eight per cent of all UK children born with this kind of neuro-degenerative condition come from Bradford, although the city has just one per cent of the UK’s population. Research into the city’s 9,000 disabled youngsters also revealed a ‘disproportionately high’ level of hearing and sight problems in Pakistani families. But Bradford is not alone. In Birmingham, which also has a big Pakistani community, the city’s Primary Care Trust estimates that one in ten of all children born to first cousins either dies in infancy or goes on to have a serious disability because of a recessive gene disorder.One young mother, calling herself by the Pakistani name of Shenzah, wrote recently: ‘I have a huge difficulty. I am married to a first cousin. My parents and my husband’s parents were also married to their first cousins. ‘Now I have one daughter with lots of defects and the doctor is sure it is due to these marriages.‘I was against marrying a first cousin because I believed it would cause genetic problems, but my family forced me. According to them, what the doctors say is all nonsense.‘I cannot understand why cousin marriages are not forbidden in Islam. The Koran doesn’t forbid it and this encourages people around me to disbelieve what the doctors say. ‘My daughter is not going to survive for long and the doctors are unable to find out what she is suffering from. ‘They are sure if I get pregnant again, the risk for the next baby will be the same.’She said she had two options: ‘One is to give up the idea of having any children, ever. The other is to get a divorce. Please, can anyone tell me what to do?’Read the full story here.
- Suddenly raising the debt ceiling just became a whole lot less important: China sells almost all of its U.S. Treasury Bills.(DougRoss).By that I mean, raising the debt ceiling becomes a lot less important when no one will loan you money. And China ditching our debt simply means that fewer and fewer investors are willing to front the spending-addicted Obama administration any dough.China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt... Until October, the Chinese were generally making up for their decreasing holdings in Treasury bills by increasing their holdings of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, until October, China’s overall holdings of U.S. debt continued to increase.Since October, however, China has also started to divest from longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, as reported by the Treasury Department, China’s ownership of the U.S. national debt has decreased in each of the last five months on record, including November, December, January, February and March.The hysteria generated by TurboTax Tim Geithner and the Democrats in Congress -- translating roughly to 'if you don't raise the debt ceiling, the four horsemen of the apocalypse will take a collective dump on the world economy' -- is utter bunk.While it is true Congress has never before refused to raise the debt ceiling, it has frequently taken its sweet time to do so. In 1985, Congress waited nearly three months after the debt limit was reached before authorizing a permanent increase. In 1995, 4 1/2 months passed between hitting the ceiling and congressional action. And in 2002, Congress delayed raising the debt ceiling for three months. In each case, the U.S. and the economy survived.... The people running this government are never going to deal with this untenable situation unless and until it becomes untenable for them. The only way that will happen is if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling and forces the administration to prioritize payment of those obligations that must be paid to maintain our full faith and credit — for as Kevin and Veronique point out, this already perilous situation could be blown sky high if the interest rate we must pay to borrow spikes. Only when there is no way around it will we get serious consideration of what government should and should not do, and what kind of welfare state the public is willing to pay for.If we put it off, if we expand the credit card of a bankrupt Washington whose credit card needs to be cut to pieces right now, not only will our dire straits get worse. We won’t get to deal with them — we will be at the mercy of how they deal with us when the music finally stops.Read the full story here.
- Gülen movement’s US ride getting tougher.(HurriyetDaily).All eyes are focused on Turkey for yet another significant voting day, June 12. In Washington, lately, three questions occupy the minds of those who follow Turkey: First, they wonder whether the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, will be able to gain enough seats to write the Constitution by itself. Second, they wonder about the sex-scandal tapes, which wiped out a considerable number of high officials in the opposition National Movement Party, or MHP. And third, they want to know exactly what the Fethullah Gülen movement wants to do and what their ambitions and intentions are.While the first two questions can only be speculated upon, Gülen-U.S. relations are becoming more interesting as the days go by. Gülen, the leader of millions of Muslim followers based in Turkey, himself lives in the U.S., and many in the country’s media are well aware of who he is.The movement in Turkey has long since abandoned the policy of keeping equal distance from political parties. Especially during the constitutional referendum last September, members of the movement actively worked for the passage of the changes. The movement argued that it wasn’t politics they got involved with, it was a matter of principal; supporting the independence of the judiciary. This time, though, it is a general election, and the movement’s media organs are openly supporting the AKP and doing so forcefully. Even olive branches offered by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the new leader of the main opposition party, CHP, to the movement on several occasions were turned down. In appearance, the CHP’s decision to put forward a few jailed Ergenekon suspects as candidates is the sticky point between the two. Having an ideological adversary like the CHP also works for Gülenists to show there is still more to be done in Turkey.In the U.S. though, the biggest criticism appears to be the ambiguity about the group’s structure. Its informal membership of millions of followers worldwide, rapid increase in the numbers of schools and how they are funded in U.S., and a vast variety of narratives about its real power in Turkey continue to pique the interests of Turkey watchers. Today, there is even confusion over what to call the followers of Fethullah Gülen; while Gülen refuses to describe it as a “movement,” and rejects any direct link; other prominent figures of the group have no problem calling it so.To Gülen’s credit, lack of transparency on the part of the movement, or as one U.S. investigative journalist called it, “evasiveness,” is not all reasonless, but merely the result of decade-long habit. The rigid secularism of the Turkish state since the beginning specifically targeted religiosity.The Gülen movement, which started in the early 1970s, had therefore plenty of reasons to go undercover to avoid the wrath of the Turkish military, which was supported by a coalition consisting of the bureaucracy, judiciary and media for decades. Sophisticated strategies, which were designed by Gülen and leading figures of the movement, foresaw that violence, or civil disobedience was not the answer for the future of Muslims in Turkey. Pursuing the best education and one’s elevation in every state institution was the answer to changing the country from the bottom to the top. The movement still believes that the circumstances are not entirely changed and that the old reactionary mindset of Turkish secularism is there and alive; therefore, it is not time to come out into the public sphere with full disclosure.How the strategies that worked so well for the movement in Turkey can be translated into the U.S. is still an open-ended question. Obviously, the movement does not see the U.S. as an equal to Turkey; instead, the U.S. can be seen as the best market to prove that a pious Muslim can coexist and be perfectly happy in a Western democracy.In the last couple of months, especially since Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener’s arrest in Turkey, negative publicity against the movement seems to be gaining momentum in the U.S.“There is a great deal of interest and curiosity on the side of the U.S. media and unless questions about their closed structure and some other tax allegations are answered clearly, the U.S. media will not leave them alone,” said one U.S. Turkey observer in Washington. Arguing that hundreds of schools are being opened in more than two dozen U.S. states without any links or coordination of some sort, the movement fails to convince the U.S. media and the experts alike.The United States’ Anglo-Saxon tradition and tolerance make it rather easy to organize and become involved with any kind of religious sect, as long as it is peaceful. When U.S. journalists and authorities feel they are left in the dark about some of a movement’s other activities, they complain they can’t find any spokesperson for the movement to ask their question; understandably, the mood turns sour toward the movement.In addition to all of that, in recent times, some conservative Christian groups, who have considerable influence on conservative media and politicians, coupled with growing Islamophia in America, appear to be promising that the smooth ride the movement has so far enjoyed in the U.S. might get tougher.As the movement increases its visibility in U.S., the scrutiny on its activities is also inevitably increasing. The impression is that the movement is conscious about some of these shortcomings and is looking for ways to handle questions of transparency in the U.S. Only time will tell whether decades-old habits can be changed.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Catholic Bishop Warns Islamists Forcing Christians From Nazareth.(VOA) – A senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land says the Christian community is in danger of dying out in Nazareth, an Israeli Arab city where Christians believe Jesus spent his youth. Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo says many of Nazareth’s minority Christians began emigrating more than a decade ago largely because of tensions with local Islamists who tried to build a mosque next to the city’s main church. Israel terminated the mosque project in 2003 and Nazareth has been calm ever since. But, Bishop Marcuzzo says several threats remain to one of the region’s oldest Christian communities, whose first church was built in the 5th century AD.Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo says the emigration of Christians from the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth is endangering the survival of the Christian community in a place of biblical importance to Christianity.The bishop says the main cause of that emigration is a campaign by Islamists to boost their political power in Nazareth at the expense of Christians and moderate Muslims.Tensions erupted in 1997 when Islamists set up a prayer tent near Nazareth’s Basilica of the Annunciation, located where Christians believe an angel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus.The Islamists’ goal was to establish a large, permanent mosque at the site, which houses a shrine to Shihab e-Din, a nephew of 12th century Muslim warrior Saladin. Christians in Nazareth and abroad objected, fearing such a mosque would block access to the Basilica and disrupt Christian services.Christian leaders lobbied for the site to be developed into a plaza for tourists. That idea angered some Islamists, who rioted in Nazareth on Easter Sunday in 1999, smashing Christian-owned cars and shops.“For us, that problem caused the reaction of many families who wanted to go away, because life became difficult here in Nazareth in those days, in those years,” stated Marcuzzo.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Muslim Group Offends Some Christians With Jesus Advertisements.(CNSnews).“Jesus: A prophet of Islam” states the provocative tagline in a “public awareness” advertising campaign launched by a Muslim group in Australia’s largest city.The group, calling itself Mypeace, says its aim is to inform, not offend – but offend it has, with one Catholic bishop calling the assertion about Jesus “a direct assault on Christian beliefs.”Roadside billboards in the metropolitan Sydney area carry one of four simple slogans: “Jesus: A Prophet of Islam,” “Holy Qur’an: The Final Testament,” “Muhammad: Mercy to Mankind” and “Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers.”Each banner invites people to get in touch by phone or online, for literature and a free copy of the Qur’an. Mypeace says the ads will stay up for four weeks, and later this year will be run on scores of public buses in the city.One of the billboards featuring the Jesus slogan was vandalized a day after it was erected.Mypeace says its aim is to “address the many misconceptions on Islam, to educate fellow Australians on Islam, invite them to ask any questions that they may have.”Islamic awareness campaigns are not new, but the slogan referring to Jesus is causing a stir. Muslims and interfaith advocates sometimes invoke Jesus to assert some sort of commonality with Christians, implying that Muslims, too, “believe in Jesus.”But Muslims, and the Qur’an, deny the central Christian beliefs regarding Jesus – his divinity,crucifixion and resurrection.Hmmmm.....Jesus Christ is the son of God!Take it...or leave it.Period!Read the full story here.
Friday, June 3, 2011
The latest micro documentary from Daniel Vision Victory and Crush the Street is bound to get tempers flaring – on both sides.With cities, states and the Federal government facing serious budgetary problems, cuts are going to have to be made. We can expect, then, that any such cuts that will affect public union members will be countered by mass protests and potentially riots. As the documentary points out, organized unions are a burden on the system, with government officials regularly bowing to demands for more money, benefits and pensions. The end result, which apparently union members don’t realize, will be the opposite of what they are trying to accomplish. Not only will public union members pay the price, so too will the private sector:
Analyst Meredith Whitney, last year, forecast that two million government jobs would be eliminated during this depression. This is already happening, as 750,000 government employees have already lost their jobs. Governments are bloated and broke, and it is not mathematically possible to pay public union members what they think they’re worth. There will be much more pain to come.There will also be blood, because union members seem to be disconnected from reality. We can expect more protests, and potentially riots if the governments have to raid their pensions, benefits and wages to cover budgetary gaps.Read the full story here.
- Syria Live Blog - June 03. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 03. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 03 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 6.2 - India 5.9 ! Lots of activity in Turkey.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 128.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Europe - Latest official Situation Update on E-Coli epidemic. Source.
- Syrian activists call for 'Children's Friday'.(Al-Jazeera).Anti-Assad demonstrators protest against government brutality, with more than 30 young people dead since March.Syrian activists have called for protests on Friday over the dozens of children killed in anti-government protests, as the opposition continues to demand the "immediate resignation" of Bashar al-Assad, the country's president.Rejecting government concessions, opposition groups at a meeting in Turkey called late on Thursday for parliamentary and presidential elections within a year of Assad's removal and vowed to work "to bring down the regime".Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said the international community needs to be more united on dealing with the Syria government's crackdown on the pro-democracy movement."Right now the attitude of the international community is not as united as we are seeking to make it," she said in Washington, apparently alluding to Russia's moves blocking a proposed UN Security Council condemnation of Syria.Activists called for "Children's Friday" protests to honour the children killed in the uprising, such as 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib whom activists say was tortured to death, a charge denied by the authorities."The people want the fall of the regime. Tomorrow, it's 'Children's Friday' of rising up against injustice, like the adults," the activists announced on their Facebook page "Syrian Revolution 2011", an engine of the revolt.The UN children's agency UNICEF says at least 30 children have been shot dead in the revolt against Assad's autocratic rule which erupted in mid-March.The more than 10-week-old revolt in Syria was sparked by the arrest and torture of 15 children and adolescents accused of painting anti-regime graffiti in the southern town of Daraa, which became a flashpoint of the deadly protests."A photo of a child who is dead or being tortured or being mutilated is much more powerful than of an adult," Patrick McCormick, UNICEF spokesman, said, referring to the Facebook campaign focused on the fate of Hamza."The use of Facebook or any image especially of children is incredibly powerful," he told AFP news agency. "They are innocent victims here, they get caught in the middle, it is not their fight."McCormick said the situation would worsen with the end of the academic year. "It will leave the children and teenagers more vulnerable because they will be out and about and not sitting in a classroom."Hmmmm....How about the innocent Jewish children killed by the Palestinians?Read the full story here.
- "Have Airforce Two - Will Travel".Michelle to Travel to Southern Africa.(Whitehousedossier).Well, it’s kind of an expensive trip to take while President Obama and Congress are engaged in a desperate struggle to slash spending, isn’t it? But the White House is making clear that, unlike her vacation to Spain last year, which cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, this is an official trip. It is the kind of thing all first ladies do to promote the United States and its interests overseas.Now, does that mean she – and her mom, and her daughters – ain’t going to get in some sight seeing or sample some roast antelope at a swank Johannesburg eatery? I’m sure they will.But as long as she spends plenty of time working, this is normal first lady stuff. The schedule suggests they’ll be bouncing around too much to get too comfortable. From the White House:First Lady Michelle Obama announced that she will travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana during an official visit to Africa from June 21 – 26 focused on youth leadership, education, health and wellness. The trip is a continuation of Mrs. Obama’s work to engage young people at home and abroad, from mentoring students in the United States and encouraging them to gain international experience, to encouraging young people to excel academically, serve, and lead . . . Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Robinson and her daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.In addition to advancing her international youth engagement agenda, the First Lady’s events will amplify the President’s support for democracy, development and economic opportunity across Africa. During her trip, Mrs. Obama will deliver the keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa. Forum participants include young women from across sub-Saharan Africa who are leading or involved in social and economic initiatives in their own countries.Hmmmm.....Start the countdown for the next revolution?Read the full story here.
- Update ! Jewish Group Removes Video Of Them Singing At The White House Per ‘Obama Admin Request.'The Maccabeats deny the story about the removal of their video, on their facebook page you can read the following statement:"
So there's a really interesting rumor circulating online about how the White House demanded we remove a video of us privately singing for the President. Never happened. We only posted the video privately in the first place, out of respect for our host. especially after we were
treated so well by the entire staff. We think the White House has more interesting things to do than hunt down Maccabeats videos.Hmmmm....Anyway for those interested here's the video in question.Read the full story here.
ObamabookFacebook – self appointed arbiter of “free speech” – tells Tea Party no more organizing.(floppingAces). In what is an astonishing development, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media sensation, Facebook, has been slowly and quietly clamping down on the use of the site for political purposes. Kellen Giuda, an architect who started the NY Tea Party, has a column today in The Daily Caller to expose the Facebook hypocrisy, and to announce an alternative social medium to replace the FB void after a series of policy and site changes that are designed to limit the scope of use of Facebook related to political purposes.What makes an American entrepreneur’s blood run cold is the quote from Facebook’s Adam Conner to the Wall Street Journal last month:
Meanwhile, Facebook is talking with potential Chinese partners about entering the huge China market, where the government has been cracking down on dissidents. That crackdown has come in response to the uprisings shaking authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes, movements that have used U.S.-based social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter as organizing tools.“Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,” Adam Conner, a Facebook lobbyist, told the Journal. “We are occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before,” he said. “Right now we’re studying and learning about China but have made no decisions about if, or how, we will approach it,” said Debbie Frost, Facebook’s director of international communications.It’s chilling enough that a social medium that has played such a high profile role in political interaction decides that one country is “experienced” enough to be allowed free speech, and another isn’t. But considering Facebook’s attitude towards the Tea Party, this begs the question of Mr. Conner… just what part of America, and our founding based on free speech, requires nanny censorship by a self appointed arbiter?Facebook isn’t foolish enough to outright lay on political censorship. As Guida points out, it’s been a series of steps that unmistakenly is aimed at political use of the medium. And he further suggests that the overt ties to liberal political beliefs may play a large part in thwarting Tea Party organization.The company has changed the way Facebook’s group, newsfeed and event features work, and it has restricted the ability of users to communicate with people (via messages and wall posts) who are outside of their real-life social networks.What’s more, it’s become clear that Facebook itself is dominated by liberals:
•98% of political donations from Facebook employees went to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
•Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s co-founders, headed up Barack Obama’s successful website during the 2008 campaign. In 2009, he was featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as “The kid who made Obama president: how Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes unleashed Barack’s base — and changed politics and marketing forever.”
•Facebook’s former attorney for privacy issues, Chris Kelly, ran for attorney general of California in 2010 on a far-left platform.
Many Americans and Tea Party organizers are waking up to this liberal culture at Facebook, which was on display at the recent Facebook townhall where Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fawned over each other.And speaking of this new a’political philosphy, if Facebook is so all fired dedicated to free speech and staying away from politics, why the heck are they interviewing the POTUS on political issues, and livestreaming it on Facebook anyway?And what happens to all those Congressional owned Facebook accounts? Aren’t they entirely political in nature? Or is it only “organizing” they seem to oppose?Hmmmm........This is why i don't use facebook.Read the full story here.
- Egypt revolution leaves Sinai increasingly lawless.(BBC).Egypt's northern Sinai is a desert region of frequent lawlessness where the Bedouin tribesmen who live have complained of being neglected and oppressed by the central government. Tim Whewell went to find out if anything has changed since Egypt's revolution."This is me with my new Kalashnikov," the young water engineer tells me as we sit by a hotel pool in El-Arish on Egypt's north Sinai coast, clicking through snapshots on his mobile phone. "Before the revolution I never needed one, but now I do. To protect my family. It's getting much more dangerous here." With his slicked-back hair, t-shirt and jeans, Fouad (not his real name) looks like any young, middle-class Egyptian.Like thousands of others he joined the crowds of protesters filling Cairo's Tahrir Square during the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February. But Fouad is not first and foremost an Egyptian. He is Bedouin, belonging to one of the tribes who for centuries have roamed the Sinai peninsula - the pointed tooth of wilderness that separates Africa from Asia. Once the Sinai was a land bridge. According to the Bible, it is where the Children of Israel journeyed on their 40-year trek from Egypt to the Promised Land. But more recently it has been a battleground in Egypt's wars with Israel.The Bedouin have been caught in the middle. And that is one reason, they say, why they have suffered discrimination in Egypt since it regained Sinai from Israeli occupation in 1982 - discrimination that has left them alienated and angry. "If you are Bedouin you can't join the army or the police. You can't apply to be a diplomat," another young man in north Sinai, Ahmed Salama tells me. "Maybe they are suspicious we might have some connections with the Israelis, but we don't." In the final years of President Mubarak's regime, Sinai was the most restive part of Egypt. Policemen were killed in armed clashes with Bedouin as they tried to crack down on the lucrative smuggling routes carrying weapons and building materials into the Gaza Strip, and illegal workers into Israel. Now, he says, it has all changed. Gaza has all the guns it needs, and Hamas can manufacture its own rockets. The market now is internal, within Sinai. "Because of the revolution," he says, "there are no police anymore. And the people won't allow the police to come back until there's an amnesty for Bedouin who've been wrongly prosecuted. So, till then, how can you protect your life? You have to bear arms." Two years ago, in cables later released by Wikileaks, US diplomats reported intelligence from Egypt's spy chief Omar Suleiman that Iran had been trying to recruit Sinai Bedouin to smuggle weapons to Hamas. The reports are hard to verify. Egypt may have had an interest in playing up the threat. But Israel believes the growing lawlessness in Sinai since the revolution can only make it easier for smugglers and terrorists to operate. Even the most prominent Bedouin rights activist, Musaad Abu Fajr, jailed under the old regime, does not dismiss that possibility. The forces that might seek to take advantage of the current instability in Sinai, he says, are Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah - and even al-Qaeda. But he adds: "I wouldn't blame them. I'd blame those in charge of managing Egypt. If they develop Sinai properly, no outside forces will be able to penetrate and do the damage they're doing." Read and see the full story here.
- Iran Tests Nuclear Missile Warhead Design.(Newsmax).Iran has built and tested all the elements of a nuclear weapon design similar to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, and is actively working to fit it onto a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel, nuclear experts told Newsmax this week.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna first revealed that Iran had been working on the tried and true nuclear weapons design three years ago. But only last week did the U.N. agency spell out the details of Iran’s nuclear weapons-related work.The tests the IAEA says Iran has carried out “seem logically to be part of a weaponization process,” said Dr. James McNally, a former U.S. nuclear weapons lab researcher. “The Iranians appear to be scoping out what needs to be done to get to their goal.”In a technically-worded section of his May 24 report to the U.N. Security Council, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the Agency “remains concerned about . . . activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”The IAEA said the weapon design uses hemispheres of highly-enriched uranium, a design consistent with an implosion device. The agency also has information showing that Iran had conducted “design work and modeling studies involving the removal of the conventional high explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload.”“I don’t see that as part of a peaceful nuclear program,” McNally told Newsmax in an interview.Iran has displayed its Shahab-3 missiles in public parades draped in English-language banners that read, “Israel Must be Wiped Off the Map.” It developed the missile in the mid-1990s with help from Russia and North Korea, and conducted its first successful test flight in July 1998. Iran claims it has built several hundred of the missiles, which can reach targets up to 1,200 miles, depending on the version.Taken together, the new information from the IAEA shows that Iran has carried out a “cold test” of its nuclear weapons design, former CIA nuclear weapons analyst Dr. Peter Pry told Newsmax.“These are all the components required to do not only a cold test but to actually build a screw-ready nuclear weapon short of having the fuel,” Pry said. “If you master the explosive lenses and the neutron generator, then really all you need is the fuel and the ability to shape the fuel into hemispheres.”Iran has been able to shape uranium into hemispheres for several years, according to earlier IAEA reports. In its latest report, the IAEA said that Iran has conducted “full scale experiments” of the complex high-explosive detonation component of the bomb, “work which may have benefited form the assistance of foreign expertise.”As for nuclear fuel, the latest IAEA report shows that Iran has recovered from the Stuxnet computer worm attack, and has accelerated the production of enriched uranium at its declared centrifuge plant at Natanz.“In constructing any program it is logical to identify each task needed for producing a working nuclear explosive,” McNally told Newsmax. “These steps can be carried out almost independently in order to keep a low profile and hide the proximity to the final nuclear detonation,” he added.Former assistant secretary of State for On-site Verification, Paula Desutter, saw no ambiguity in Iran’s nuclear test program. “That’s weaponization,” she told Newsmax. “There is no other reason to conduct those tests except to prepare a nuclear device.”Most Western intelligence analysts believe Iran has a parallel program and has installed enrichment centrifuges at secret sites it has not declared to the IAEA, using uranium milled from local mines that are not covered by IAEA safeguards.The move from virtual nuclear weapons state to actual nuclear weapons capability “has been authorized by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” Kahlili believes.“They have the knowledge, and now they have the materials. The time for speculative argument is over. They are going to have it. They are going to have the bomb,” Kahlili told Newsmax.Hmmmm.....Who's to say that one of these frequent earthquakes in Iran, wasn't an underground nuclear weapon test?Read the full story here.
- "Fall for Das vaterland"?Terrorists Claim German Jihadist Dead in Afghanistan.(Spiegel).A German jihadist has been killed in fighting with US soldiers in Afghanistan, a major terrorist organization in the region is reporting. The man from Essen appears to have been killed only two months after entering into the war-torn country. A propaganda video posted online by the terror group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) this week indicates that another German extremist may have been killed while fighting against NATO troops in Afghanistan. An IMU spokesman says in the eight-minute-long video that "a brother from Essen" lost his life on March 20 during a firefight with US soldiers near Kunduz, the northern Afghanistan base where the German army is stationed. The man was identified as Abdullah -- no last name was given -- and went by the nom du guerre "Miqdaad."The jihadist allegedly arrived in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area in November 2010 before completing training at a camp in January 2011. Afterwards, he is said to have traveled to northern Afghanistan; the IMU spokesman said it had been Abdullah's wish to attack German soldiers stationed in Kunduz. In a short recording made before his death, "Miqdaad" expressed his pleasure that he was being sent into battle against Germany's armed forces and NATO. In the second part of the video, the spokesman -- Yassin C. of Bonn, who goes by the name "Abu Ibraheem" -- called on Afghans living in Germany to join the battle against "the occupiers." Just on Thursday, a German soldier was killed by an explosive device targeting the Bundeswehr.It was not possible to immediately determine the authenticity of the video on Friday. However, the website where it was found, the manner in which it had been produced, the logos included on the video and the spokesperson shown in the video all seemed to point to its veracity.If the news of the death of the young Essen man is confirmed, he would be added to a list of at least a half-dozen jihadists from Germany who have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One died while staging a suicide attack, two others were killed by US drones and at least four have been killed in combat with Pakistani or American soldiers. Read the full story here.
- 'Anonymous' hacking group breaks into Iranian government servers and steals more than 10,000 email addresses.(DailyMail).Online activist group Anonymous has hacked into the Iranian government servers and stolen over 10,000 email addresses.A single hacker broke into the Iranian Passport and Visa email centre last week in what has been described as a 'big raid'.The attack brought down the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which was still inaccessible this afternoon.The email archive accessed mainly consists of approvals, rejections and correspondence for a variety of visa and passport applications, an Iranian member of Anonymous told TheNextWeb.com.The 'hactivist' organisation is now planning to target the upcoming anniversary of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June 2005 election with a DDoS attack, when a large number of hackers assault a single target.The Anonymous member said: 'It’s near the election’s anniversary. We had to do something.'For the election’s anniversary, we have a complete DDoS attack day.'Anonymous quietly posted a file containing the email addresses online on May 30.However, the file was encrypted and its contents remained unknown until last night.The attack is the latest in a series of high-profile attacks involving the organisation.Sony last month blamed Anonymous for indirectly allowing a hacker to gain access to personal data of more than 100million gamers.Anonymous denied the accusations made by the Japanese electronics firm.But it had declared war on Sony after it claimed the Sony vs George Hotz lawsuit was an attack on free speech and that Sony was abusing customer's rights through its relentless legal assault on the PlayStation 3 jailbreaker.At the time, Hotz had faced a lawsuit from Sony under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act for publishing methods that break the digital protections on the PS3 to allow the use of unauthorised programmes.Anonymous hogged the limelight last year for attacking websites of companies that had refused to offer services to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.The group attacked Amazon and eBay, among others, as a part of its efforts to support WikiLeaks.Hmmmm.....I wonder if they hacked 'the hidden imam' his adress also?Read the full story here.
- Like Isaiah in the Old Testament,Blago Just Wanted To “Get The Rich To Help The Poor”.(JudicialWatch).Chicago—Like Isaiah in the Old Testament, Rod Blagojevich wanted to “get the rich to help the poor” when he offered to send Barack Obama’s close friend (Valerie Jarrett) to the U.S. Senate in exchange for a nonprofit set up by wealthy Democratic donors close to the president.The multi million-dollar charity would promote healthcare for children and “working families” and, of course, Blagojevich and his pals would run it. Instead he got criminally charged with a mountain of felonies, including trying to sell the Illinois senate seat vacated when Obama won the 2008 presidential election. On his fifth day testifying in his corruption retrial, Blagojevich continued blaming his trusted advisers for encouraging him to “leverage” his power as governor to appoint a new senator and insisting that he get “something of substance” from the president-elect in return for appointing Jarrett, who ended up going to the White House as a top aide. Blagojevich testified that he never promised or connected any deals to the senate appointment. In fact, he testified that he was only “venting” when he blasted Obama on a secret FBI recording because he offered only to be “grateful and appreciative” in exchange for Jarrett’s appointment. “F_ _ _ them,” Blagojevich is heard saying on the wire tap. That’s when he devised a plan to get Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to help set up the healthcare nonprofit by hitting up wealthy Democratic donors like leftwing activist George Soros and investor Warren Buffett for money. To put it all in perspective for the jury, Blagojevich interjected the Isaiah Old Testament analogy. After the lunch break Blagojevich addressed recorded conversations previously played by the prosecution in which he discusses getting “tangible” and “concrete” support “up front” from Jesse Jackson Jr. before considering giving him the senate appointment. Jackson Jr. represents Chicago’s south side in the U.S. House and prosecutors have presented evidence that one of his top donors offered Blagojevich $1.5 million to appoint him senator.Read the full story here.
- Opec hints it could raise oil supplies for first time in four years.(Telegraph).Members of Opec, the oil cartel, are seriously considering raising supply for the first time since 2007 in order to dampen prices that are currently above $100 per barrel.Ahead of a key meeting next week, an Opec official said the world could do with an extra 1m barrels of oil per day to reduce volatility in the market.The 12-member group of oil-producing countries had not been expected to raise output, despite the fact that London prices went above $125 per barrel during tensions in the Middle East.However, a number of officials appear to be increasingly open to a rise in output.Ali Al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, said on Thursday that the cartel was prepared to act if necessary. "We have to wait and see the data. If there is a need for an increase, we would decide accordingly," he said.His comments came as oil prices unexpectedly fell below $100 per barrel in the US, as supplies continue to build up and demand has begun to fall.Paul Spedding, an analyst from HSBC, also estimated that speculation had added $30 per barrel to the oil price from October to May.Read the full story here.