Tuesday, June 7, 2011
- Syria Live Blog - June 07. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 07. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 07 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 129.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 41-.Source.
- Emanuel’s First Test: Gang Mob Attacks Continue in Chicago After Memorial Beach Closing.(Biggovernment).Chicagoans flocked to North Avenue Beach last Monday for Memorial Day, only to have their holiday fun spoiled when Chicago police closed the beach. For the first time in Chicago’s history, North Avenue Beach, where residents go to cool off, was closed due to excessive heat according to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. McCarthy was backed up by newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who claimed there was a surge in calls due to heat exhaustion, and the reason for the closing was to give ambulances and paramedics easier access to treat those in need.Fox Chicago News lightly covered reasons for the beach closing other than heat, which were missing from other local news outlets, CBS and ABC. Fox reported an unusually high presence of Chicago street gangs.One resident interviewed by Fox claimed:“They were hooting and hollering and looking for confrontations,” Daley said. “A kid got in my face and was looking for a confrontation….”Others reported cyclists were actually thrown off of their bikes. Many believe the real reason for the beach closing was exactly this unwarranted violence. Police blogs and readers of local news sites were also quick to respond to what actually happened, and the reports are quite shocking. As many 2000 young teenage “thugs” stormed the beach, in an apparent effort to cause mayhem on those enjoying the hot sunny weather.A comment on the Chicago Sun Times post reads:“Um folks believe me the heat had nothing to do with this. Its more like the 2000 or so punk teens that showed up around 3pm and started causing problems that led to the closure.”Local morning radio hosts Don Wade & Roma were quick to cover the story as well, and rightly question what actually happened. Listen as they point out the seriousness of this story, and what appears to be intentional omission by the Chicago mainstream media, leaving out critical information in their explanation for the beach closing.Wade comments, what may be even more alarming is the fact that the incident was not isolated to Chicago. Drudge Reportand other outlets reported Boston, Nashville, Charlotte, Long Island, Rochester, and Miami were among the many other cities that experienced a large up tick in holiday violence on beaches and popular holiday areas. This may have been the result of gang members spreading their message to cause disruptions via social media outlets such as Twitter. Wade goes on to bring attention to another major concern, that President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder have beganaggressively investigating big city police departments, and their systematic abuses of “civil rights,” such as false arrests and excessive force. Roma demands answers during the segment, and claims that Emanuel’s response to the incidents in Chicago may have been acceptable for a first time occurrence; however, he must come up with better answers and solutions if this problem continues.Unfortunately, the need for ongoing concern still exists as this type of gang activity continued over this past weekend once again in Chicago. Roving gangs have been appearing in trendy areas downtown, and were responsible for committing attacks against average everyday citizens just this past Sunday in the Gold Coast. CBS 2 reports “15-20 young men between 16-20 years old and black,” approached a man near Northwestern University, one of whom threw a baseball at his face, as the rest proceeded to beat him up.Wade and Roma picked up this story as well, and went on to mention other reports of gangs and mobs spilling into the streets of downtown Chicago from public city busses and trains. Once in the downtown area, they coordinate attacks against citizens as well as local shops and stores. As they approach a store, a large group will enter, leaving one or two outside to stand guard. Once inside the store, they proceed to steel items and grab what they can, before getting away untouched.How will Chicago’s new Mayor handle this alarming problem, as we approach the hot summer months? Will he continue the denial of these occurrences, as he did with the beach invasion on Memorial Day? What is the reason for not at least acknowledging the unusual gang presence at North Avenue Beach? Are his hands potentially bound by Obama and Holder, as they attempt to uncover a sinister plot by big city police forces attempting to ensure the safety of average citizens, by supposedly employing systematic racist tactics against real criminals? Hmmmm......Put them at work for the next ten years in a chaingang.Read the full story here.
- "We need to approve the law to know what's in it?"Obamacare waivers weren’t in original law, appearance of political favors persists.(DailyCaller).The Daily Caller has learned the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) never had the authority to issue waivers from Obamacare’s annual limit requirements.Language granting HHS that power was never in the original law. Instead, through new rules and regulations, HHS gave itself the power last summer using a broad interpretation of certain parts of the law.The annual limit requirement waivers exempt recipients for one year from having to increase the amount of health care coverage they provide their workers. Each year between now and 2014, the minimum annual limit rises to a new, higher amount. Though the waivers are only for one year, recipients can reapply and be re-approved every year through 2014.Heritage Foundation health policy expert Edmund Haislmaier said HHS “exceeded its statutory authority” by issuing such waivers.“The first problem is that it appears HHS has exceeded its statutory authority in creating this waiver process,” Haislmaier said in testimony before the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on Health Care. “The statute does not explicitly grant HHS authority to waive the application of this provision. In contrast, I count twenty-one other sections of PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] in which Congress did grant HHS explicit, new waiver authority with respect to specific provisions. Thus, it is reasonable to presume that if Congress had intended the department to institute a waiver process as part of its implementation of this particular provision, Congress would have said so in the statute.”The Obama administration, which touts itself as the most transparent in American history, hasn’t answered many questions about who’s been getting waivers and why, who’s been denied and why or who’s still in line. Seeing as the administration hasn’t complied with many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information surrounding Obamacare, former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS announced Monday it will seek summary judgment in federal court against HHS over “the agency’s failure to disclose materials concerning Obamacare waivers.” Crossroads GPS filed a FOIA request back in January for information regarding Obamacare waivers. After two months of inactivity on the request, Crossroads filed a lawsuit alleging HHS isn’t following FOIA standards.In what’s become a bit of a pattern for the Obama administration, there’s at least an appearance of political favoritism in favor of those who lobbied for HHS to grant itself waiver power. Many of the administration’s nearly 1,400 waivers, including the waivers that went to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district in April, went to companies and entities that lobbied their support behind HHS’s drive to grant itself that power.Hmmmmm........Observe thugocracy evolving in it's natural habitat?Read the full story here.
- ObamaNomics: Federal Government Has Record $61.6 Trillion In Unfunded Obligations, Equates To $534,000 Per Household.(USAToday).The federal government’s financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows.The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation’s gross domestic product.Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.Social Security added $1.4 trillion in obligations, partly reflecting longer life expectancies. Federal and military retirement programs added more to the financial hole, too.Corporations would be required to count these new liabilities when they are taken on — and report a big loss to shareholders. Unlike businesses, however, Congress postpones recording spending commitments until it writes a check.The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household. That’s more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt. It reflects the challenge as the number of retirees soars over the next 20 years and seniors try to collect on those spending promises.“The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn’t take into account what’s owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees,” says accountant Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. “Without accurate accounting, we can’t make good decisions.”Hmmmm......"It doesn’t take into account what’s owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees".Read the full story here.
- Pawlenty “The American people can handle the truth."Pawlenty speech criticizes Obama as 'champion of class warfare'(TheHill).President Obama is a “champion practitioner of class warfare,” GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday.In an address on his economic policy in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, the former Minnesota governor laid out the specifics of his plan to slash spending and simplify the nation's tax code by drastically cutting rates.Pawlenty said his policies offered a sharp contrast to the president’s, which he argued are discouraging businesses and stunting economic growth.“The president is satisfied with a second-rate American economy produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not,” Pawlenty said.If Obama’s economic policies are kept in place, Pawlenty said: “We are in deep doo-doo. We are in deep crap.”Instead of the “New Deal,” Pawlenty dubbed his economic plan a “Better Deal” that differs from former President Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to lift the country out of the Great Depression.Pawlenty also called for the elimination of existing loopholes, subsidies and tax credits for businesses, which he said would offset some of the revenue lost from cutting tax rates.“American businesses today pay the second-highest tax rates in the world. That’s a recipe for failure, not adding jobs and economic growth,” he said.Pawlenty said he wants to eliminate all federal regulations unless Congress votes to keep them in place, a move intended to target Obama’s healthcare law, the Wall Street reform bill and the Environmental Protection Agency’s push to regulate carbon emissions.“It is no longer enough for government to go on a diet. Government needs to hit the gym, and hit it hard,” he said.He also called for the streamlining of federal agencies including the CIA and the Pentagon, and said that the Federal Reserve should end its dual mandate.“No more quantitative easing. No more monetizing debt. No more printing money with reckless abandon,” he said.Pawlenty said his proposal matches his promise to tell the hard truths about what’s needed to fix the country’s problems."“It's going to be the Jack Nicholson election,” Pawlenty said, quoting the actor’s famous line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth.”This time around, Pawlenty argues, “The American people can handle the truth."Read the full story here.
- Lib Talker Calls on Obama to Starve People in Red States to Stop the GOP From Not Raising Debt Ceiling While Explaining the History Behind Why GOP Maintaining Debt Ceiling Would Not Stop U.S. From Paying Obligations.Read and see the full story here.
- Royal Marines on standby off the coast of Yemen as violence escalates.(DailyMail).Royal Marines are poised for an emergency evacuation of British nationals in Yemen after a fresh bout of violent clashes in the Arab state.A force of around 80 marines was said to be on board a naval support ship, RFA Fort Victoria, on the coast close to the strife-torn Arab state, the BBC reported.The Ministry of Defence confirmed that there were British military assets in the region but refused to go into detail.'As part of routine deployment UK military assets are in the region, although we are not prepared to comment further on their exact operational tasking,' a spokesman said.The latest upsurge in violence comes two days after President Ali Abdullah Saleh fled Yemen for neighbouring Saudi Arabia after being injured by a rocket attack at his compound.The Foreign Office has been advising British nationals to leave the country while commercial flights are still available as Government intervention could not be counted on.Foreign Secretary William Hague warned at the weekend that it was 'extremely unlikely' Britain would be able to stage an evacuation operation, telling any remaining UK nationals not to 'plan for or expect' any Government assistance.But the presence of the Royal Marines off the Yemeni coast is likely to be seen as a contingency plan to help rescue people from the fresh outbursts of anger in the country.The Fort Victoria is part of the Navy's Response Force Task Group which has been conducting a series of exercises, mainly in the Mediterranean, over the past weeks.The helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, which has been used as a launch pad for Apache attack helicopters engaged in operations in Libya, is part of the the same group.The BBC reported that the auxiliary landing vessel RFA Cardigan Bay was heading for Yemen where it will replace another support vessel, RFA Argus, which has been operating in the region.The latest clashes saw 19 people killed, including three children, in two Yemeni provinces, military and medical officials said.The unrest is the latest of ugly rampages that has shaken the impoverished nation, which has been the scene of many protests calling for the end of President Saleh's authoritarian regime.Officials said dozens of suspected Muslim militants attacked an army position in the southern Abyan province late Monday night, despite the departure of the embattled leader of nearly 33 years.Hmmmm......"Arab spring".Read the full story here.
- Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques.(MappingSharia).How’s this for a wake-up call: America’s most cherished civil liberties and the Constitution that enshrines them are actually enabling Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other Islamists who have the declared mission of destroying our freedoms and government “from within…by [our] hands.” Specifically, our enemies are using our tolerance of religion to create an infrastructure of mosques here that incubate the Islamic holy war called jihad.If this revelation is not exactly news to those who are serious students of the Brotherhood’s decades-long, stealthy “civilization jihad” in this country (for more, see the best-selling “Team B II Report” published late last year by the Center for Security Policy: Shariah: The Threat to America), it will almost certainly come as a shock to the average American. Yet, the phenomenon of our rights being used to pursue our destruction has become undeniable – particularly now, thanks to an assiduously researched, peer-reviewed study published on June 6th by the highly respected journal, Middle East Quarterly.Entitled “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” this paper describes an ominous jihadist footprint being put into place across the nation. It is made up of ostensibly religious institutions, entities that, therefore, enjoy constitutional protection. But, according to the data examined by this study, most mosques in the United States are actually engaged in – or at least supportive of – a totalitarian, seditious agenda they call shariah. Its express purpose is undermining and ultimately forcibly replacing the U.S. government and its founding documents. In their place would be a “caliph,” governing in accordance with shariah’s political-military-legal code.To be sure, some American mosques are not part of the jihadist enterprise. And most Muslims in the United States, like most adherents of other faiths, are not regular attendees at their places of worship.Still, according to this study’s two formidable authors – my colleague (and fellow Big Peace contributor), David Yerushalmi, one of the nation’s foremost non-Muslim experts on the totalitarian Islamic doctrine known as shariah, and a highly respected Israeli academic and expert on Islam and Arabic culture, Dr. Mordechai Kedar – on-site investigations of a random but representative sample of American mosques in fourteen states and the District of Columbia produced chilling insights into the threat posed by many such institutions.For the purpose of their analysis, the authors examined data collected by surveyors who “were asked to observe and record selected behaviors deemed to be shariah-adherent. These behaviors were selected precisely because they constitute observable and measurable practices of an orthodox form of Islam, as opposed to internalized, non-observable articles of faith.” Such behaviors included, among other readily discernible indicators: “a) women wearing the hijab (head covering) or niqab (full-length shiftcovering the entire female form except for the eyes); b) gender segregation during mosque prayers; and c) enforcement of straight prayer lines.”For the purpose of their study, the authors evaluated support for jihad by considering the presence in mosque bookstores, libraries and among recommended materials “literature encouraging worshipers to engage in terrorist activity, to provide financial support to jihadists, and to promote the establishment of a caliphate in the United States. These materials also explicitly praised actsof terror against the West; praised symbols or role models of violent jihad; promoted the use of force, terror, war, and violence to implement the shariah; emphasized the inferiority of non-Muslim life; promoted hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims or notional Muslims; and endorsed inflammatory materialswith anti-U.S. view.”
Employing this methodology, Mr. Yerushalmi and Dr. Kedar found that:
More than 80 percent of U.S. mosques advocate or otherwise promote violence. “Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all.”
Mosques that were identifiable using empirical measures “as shariah-adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-shariah adherent counterparts.”
“In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at shariah-adherent mosques was morelikely to recommend that a worshipper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-shariah-adherent mosques.”
“[O]f the 51 mosques that contained severe materials, 100 percent were led by imams who recommended that worshipers study texts that promote violence.”
“Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who wereknown to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises".In short, such findings strongly suggest that shariah-adherence is a useful predictor of sympathy for – and, in some cases at least, action on behalf of – jihad, to include both the Islamists’ violent or stealthy forms of warfare aimed at supplanting the U.S. Constitution and government. Indeed, the study confirms the anecdotal reports by Muslims themselves and earlier, less rigorous empirical studies of Saudi hate-filled literature permeating mosques in the United States.Read the full story here.
- Muslim cop lied about his U.S. citizenship in applications to be a jailer, a police officer and, most recently, an FBI agent,wanted to attend WMD training.(Mysanantonio).A Fair Oaks Ranch police officer who wanted to join the FBI has been charged with lying about his citizenship to get a job there.The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force opened a full-blown investigation last year of Pejman Amrollah Majdabadi, 30, for his “aggressiveness” in wanting to join the FBI and his e-mailed request to the agency seeking to attend weapons of mass destruction training being taught by the JTTF, according to a criminal complaint affidavit unsealed Monday.The Iranian-born officer, now a U.S. citizen, was taken to federal court in San Antonio late Friday on a charge of making false statements about his citizenship to get a job in law enforcement. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond following a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo. If convicted, Amrollah could face up to five years in prison.Amrollah has worked for the Fair Oaks Ranch Police Department since April 30, 2007, and has been “a good officer,” said Police Chief Scott Rubin.The affidavit said that since 2003, Texas law requires police officer applicants to be U.S. citizens, and Rubin said Amrollah was a citizen “as far as I knew” when he applied. Amrollah is now on unpaid administrative leave, Rubin said.The FBI claims Amrollah lied about his U.S. citizenship in applications to be a jailer, a police officer and, most recently, an FBI agent. In April 2010, the affidavit said, Amrollah e-mailed the FBI expressing interest in attending WMD training, and about joining the JTTF.In May 2010, he e-mailed again “stating he would be a good asset for the JTTF due to his language abilities and connections he had to the local Persian community,” the affidavit said.“Sensitive positions with the U.S. government are taken very seriously and any attempt at being deceptive to gain access to these positions is going to be pursued,” said special agent Erik Vasys, spokesman for the FBI in San Antonio.The affidavit said Amrollah was born in Iran in 1981 or 1982. In July 1998, when about 16, he was caught by the U.S. Border Patrol crossing illegally from Mexico with his parents and a juvenile sister. The family later applied for asylum, and their request was granted in September 1999, the affidavit said.He obtained legal permanent resident status on Oct. 5, 2004, and on Feb. 25, 2010, Amrollah became a naturalized U.S. citizen — more than a month after his most recent application to the FBI, according to the affidavit.The affidavit said the FBI found Amrollah applied multiple times to various positions within the FBI starting in 2000, and “a comparison of the applications indicated discrepancies and/or false statements.”Hmmmm......."The Djinies made me do it"?Read the full story here.
- Israel's new battlefield: Iranian submarines.(Ynet). What effect will Iran's growing presence in Red Sea, Mediterranean have on Israel's naval activity, and how will it improve arms smuggling into Gaza Strip.The recent wave of uprisings across the Arab world provided Iran with numerous strategic and tactical opportunities to expand its status as a regional hegemon.The announcement that Tehran has dispatched submarines to the Red Sea, in what is the first such deployment by Iran's Navy in distant waters, is the latest step in a series of actions the Islamic Republic has taken to secure its power in the region.The reports claim that the IDF and Navy employ constant operational and intelligence efforts to thwart smuggling attempts, including sinking Iranian ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, attacking convoys en-route from Sudan to Egypt and seizing cargo ships suspected of carrying weapons to Syria or to Hamas. Iranian naval presence in the Red Sea enables the Revolutionary Guard to track Israeli activity and secure arms shipments by warning the vessels carrying the weapons or the smugglers waiting on shore, and perhaps in the future – by directly confronting with Israeli naval forces.Foreign reports also stated that Israel has been deploying various vessels, including submarines, to patrol along the Iranian coastline in order to gather intelligence on the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and prepare for future altercations. These Israeli submarines, the reports claim, are equipped with the latest cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. If these reports are true, Iranian presence in the Red Sea might also be geared toward tracking and thwarting such activity.But Iran is not stopping there. It wants to establish a naval military presence in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea by dispatching its fleet through the Suez Canal. Tehran regards this as an important step that will demonstrate to the Arab world and the Iranian people that it is a regional power, which is capable of military deployment in distant waters.Iran's military presence also aimed at hinting to its allies – Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas – that it can provide them with assistance if needed.The recent uprisings in Syria and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Bashar Assad's regime further highlights the urgency Iran is facing. If and when the Syrian president is overthrown, Iran is expected to lose several important assets in Syria, including intelligence bases from which it keeps track of Israeli intelligence activity, and roads connecting between Syria and Lebanon, by which Iran provides Hezbollah with logistic aid and transports Revolutionary Guard members.The Iranians are acting determinately, but with caution – step by step. Their naval presence in the Gulf of Aden began last year under the guise of helping international efforts against Somali Piracy.The big leap was taken in February, when Tehran asked the Egyptian authorities to allow two of its warships to cross the Suez Canal. The pretext was "a friendship and peace flotilla" to Syria.In the near future, we can expect to see more Iranian attempts to dispatch fleets through the Suez Canal and perhaps amassment of large Iranian naval forces in the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts. This trend can be slowed down if the Americans decide to assert their influence over Egypt's Higher Military Council.Hmmmmm......And one day crows may wear stiletto heels?Read the full story here.
- Letter to Syria!(BenjaminRosenbaum).I have been following the fascinating, inspiring, and beautiful writing of Syrian blogger and democracy activist Amina Arraf (who is an out lesbian and devout Muslim) ever since this post. She has been on the run for the last several weeks, and now the arrest that her fans have been dreading has come to pass. Now is the time for quick action by the international (and internet) community. According to Reporters Without Borders, in the case of 19-year-old imprisoned blogger Tal al-Mallouhi, "Netizens from around the world mobilised....international attention was probably also a contributing factor to her appearance before a court in November 2010, after she had been held in an unknown location for nearly eleven months."Here is the text of my email to the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC, which I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.Whether or not you agree with all of Amina's opinions, she is a voice of intelligence, sanity, peace, and freedom. Please do what you can.Read the full story here.
- Syrians Turn Against Hezbollah and Iran.(ElliotAbrams)What kind of Syria might follow the fall of the Assad regime? For many years, a significant percentage of American and Israeli military officers thought things would get worse. A new regime would be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, many said—including some of the highest-ranking American generals.I have always thought this was a foolish position, given what Assad’s Syria was actually doing. How much worse could things get than a regime that was Iran’s only Arab ally, gave Iran a port on the Mediterranean and a border with Israel (through Hezbollah in Lebanon), helped Iran arm Hezbollah to the teeth, built a nuclear reactor with North Korean help, brought jihadis to Iraq to kill American soldiers, and viciously repressed the Syrian people. Moreover, the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood would rule after Assad was just that, a notion, never supported with hard evidence about their level of internal support.The strategic argument for getting Assad out is powerful: it would be a huge defeat for Iran and Hezbollah, and indeed the greatest defeat we could administer to Iran short of ending its nuclear program. As to the argument that the successor regime may follow worse policies, recent reports suggest that in fact Syrians hate the Assad/Hezbollah/Iran alliance and will end it once he is gone. France 24 reports as follows:“Syrian opposition protesters are not just calling for the fall of President Bashar al-Assad: they have recently begun directing their anger against his regional allies, Iran and Hezbollah. Our Observer says this is a new and unexpected turn of events.“Videos of recent protests in Syria show demonstrators chanting slogans against Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution, as well as the Hezbollah, an Islamist political party from Lebanon with a powerful armed wing. Even more surprising has been footage of protesters burning posters of Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general and a widely respected figure throughout the Middle East.“Their anger is a result of Tehran’s and Hezbollah’s unwavering support for the Syrian government, even as it ruthlessly crushes its own people’s calls for more democracy.”The alliance with Iran and Hezbollah is seen by increasing numbers of Syrians, then, as one of the characteristics of the hated Assad regime. When Syrians get the chance, they will end both the regime and that alliance. The sooner Assad falls, the better—from every moral, political, and strategic point of view.Hmmmm.......MR President....oh yes don't want to be seen 'interfering'?Read the full story here.
- Wannabe Egyptian 'Samson' plans to have cage fight with a lion - that symbolizes Israel.(ElderOfZion).Given the current state of the economy, it comes as no surprise that many Egyptians are doing all that they can to revive international interest in their country. What is surprising, though, is that one man has somehow managed to convince himself - and a few others - that he can single-handedly “boost tourism in Egypt” by fighting a full-grown African lion in direct hand-to-paw combat, in front of the Pyramids at Giza.Inexplicably, al-Sayed al-Essawy, a 25-year-old from Daqahlia, has come to believe that “the world will flock to see the Egyptian man who defeated a lion with his bare hands.”The fight, or “battle” as Essawy, prefers to call it, was announced two weeks ago, immediately igniting a firestorm of international protests and online petitions from individuals and animal rights organizations alike. The negative reaction surprised Essawy, prompting the self-proclaimed “strongest man in the world” to admit to being “confused and heart-broken.”Nonetheless, Essawy insists that the fight is still on, even if he has to stage the battle in a secret location.Essawy: When I defeat the lion - which I will - I will pull an Israeli flag out of my pocket, and drape it over the lion, and put my foot on it. Israel led me to this, through all their atrocities which, as a child, I grew up watching on television. The message is that even though Israel and America may be as strong as a lion - the strongest creature on the planet - they too can be defeated.
Al-Masry: How are you training for this specific event?
Essawy: By doing a series of mental exercises. Nothing physical, just brain-training. I visualize the fight for two hours at a time. I visualize the lion, and all the possible ways it could attack. Will it go for the head, or will it grab me by the feet? I ask myself these questions and visualize how I will dodge these attacks.Believe it or not, the interview gets even nuttier. Hmmmm.....Try bathing in olive oil and herbs before the fight,to improve the flavor for the lion.Read the full story here.
- Ahmadinejad Vows To “Seriously Confront” FIFA Over Hijab Ban.(Al-Arabia).Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to “seriously confront” world soccer body FIFA’s to ban the Islamic republic’s women's soccer team from wearing religious garb during professional matches.Mr. Ahmadinejad told a Tehran news conference that he had instructed vice president and sports czar Ali Saeidlu to head Iran’s effort to overturn FIFA’s decision. “I ordered to follow up the issue and we will seriously confront the decision by dictators who just wear the gown of democracy. Despite what happened, I am proud of our girls,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.Iran’s Football Federation (FFI) chief Afi Kafashian appealed to FIFA president Sepp Blatter to reverse a decision and allow for a 2012 Olympics qualifying match that was cancelled by a Bahrain FIFA referee because of the Iranian team’s dress. The cancellation lead to Jordan being declared the victor and Iran losing its opportunity to qualify for next year’s Olympics in London.“Our girls have worked hard for the qualifying matches and should not be deprived in this manner,” the state-run Fars news agency quoted Mr. Kafashian as saying.Earlier, FIFA rejected an Iranian protest and said Iran had been advised in advance that the team would not be allowed to wear the Islamic dress or hijab for safety reasons.FIFA said the decision to cancel the game was in line with its laws and regulation.FIFA bans religious symbols on the soccer pitch but agreed with Iran several years ago that the Iranian women’s team would be allowed to wear a head dress that does not cover the neck and ears. The Iranian reversal to more Islamic dress violated that agreement.Mr. Ahmedinejad has effectively been a hands-on in the manager of the Iranian team. The US cable reported that he pressured the Iranian football federation to lift its 2008 suspension of star Ali Karimi so that he could play in 2010 World Cup qualifiers, engineered the 2009 firing of Ali Daei as coach, ensured that Daei’s successor Mohamed Mayeli-Kohan lasted all of two weeks in the job so that his candidate would be appointed.Mr. Ahmedinejad has justified his interference telling Iranian journalists that “unfortunately, this sport has been afflicted with some very bad issues. I must intervene personally to push aside these destructive issues.”Like in other Middle Eastern nations, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s efforts to politically manipulate the beautiful game turned the soccer pitch into a platform for dissent.The Iranian federation postponed league matches in Tehran in February in a bid to prevent celebrations of the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution from turning into anti-government protests inspired by the toppling earlier this year of the Egyptian and Tunisian presidents by mass anti-government protests. The funeral last month of famous Iranian soccer player Nasser Hejazi, an internationally acclaimed defender and outspoken critic of the president in Tehran’s Azadi stadium turned into a mass protest against the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Mourners chanted “Hejazi, you spoke in the name of the people” in a reference to Mr. Hejazi’s criticism of the Iranian president’s economic policies. Mr. Hejazi took Mr. Ahmadinejad in April publicly to task for Iran’s gaping income difference and budgetary measure, which hit the poorest the hardest.The mourners also shouted “Goodbye Hejazi, today the brave are mourning” and “Mr Nasser, rise up, your people can't stand it anymore.”Mourners in the Behsht Zahra cemetery where Mr. Hejazi was buried shouted “Mubarak, Bin Ali, now it’s your turn Khamenei!” in reference to ousted Egyptian and Tunisian presidents Hosni Mubarak and Zine Abedine Ben Ali and Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Mr. Hejazi tried to run for president as an independent candidate in Iran’s 2005 elections, but was forced by authorities to withdraw.Hmmmm.......A red card for the president.Read the full story here.
- Identity Of Somali-American Suicide Bomber Who Died In Mogadishu Remains Unclear.(Memri).On June 2, 2011, news that a Somali-American suicide bomber was behind the attack against AMISOM soldiers in Mogadishu appeared on Somalimemo.net. The post named the perpetrator as Asadullahi Ahmed Al-Amriki ("Lion of God, Ahmed the American"), a 25-year-old Minnesotan who moved to Somalia sometime in 2009. The original post on Somalimemo.net did not provide Ahmed's full name, but circulated news appearing later in the media named the attacker as Abdullahi Farah Ahmed (written in Somali as Cabdulaahi Faarax).Read the full story here.
- Internet activist group warns Turkish government about censorship.(HurriyetDaily).Anonymous, an online activist group consisting of anonymous members from all over the world, has warned the Turkish government of action against it ahead of the implementation of a planned Internet filter.The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government plans to implement a filter on Internet browsing on Aug. 22 on the grounds of protecting the youth from "harmful elements on the web." Critics argue that the filter will pave the way for wide-spread censorship.Anonymous said Tuesday that the government was violating basic human rights and freedoms and that they would "take action against the institutions that apply censorship."The message from Anonymous reads as follows:
“Over the last few years, we have seen how the Turkish government has tightened its grip on the Internet. It has blocked thousands of websites and blogs while abusive legal proceedings against online journalists persist. The government now wants to impose a new filtering system on the 22nd of August that will make it possible to keep records of everyone’s Internet activity.“Though it remains opaque why and how the system will be put in place. It is clear that the government is taking censorship to the next level.“These acts are inexcusable. Accessing and participating in the free flow of information is a basic human right. Anonymous will not stand by while the Turkish government violates this right. We will bring our supporters to circumvent censorship and retaliate against organizations imposing censorship.“Hundreds of thousands of people have protested against Internet censorship but AKP government ignored the voice of the people and violently oppressed the protesters.“We call on all Internet users worldwide to support freedom of speech by pushing the Turkish government to stop these foolish policies. The free flow of information won’t be stopped. Sharing of knowledge won’t be stopped. It is time to fight for our rights and stand up for what we believe in.
“We are Anonymous.
“We are Legion.
“We do not Forgive.
“We do not Forget.
“Expect us.”Hmmmm......Someone will make you an encrypted offer you can't refuse?Read the full story here.
- Russia and NATO kick off anti-terror air force exercise.(MonstersandCritics).Moscow - Russia and NATO on Monday kicked off an unprecedented training exercise to give their air forces practice in handing hijacked passenger planes moving through either sides' airspace. Fighter pilots from the Russian, Polish, and Turkish air forces will be at the forefront of the five-day exercise, which will take place primarily over Poland and the Black Sea, according to a NATO statement. The Vigilant Skies 2011 manoeuvres mark the first time air forces from the former Cold War opponents Russia and NATO will participate in a joint training exercise on counterterrorism, Interfax reported. The first of the two simulated 'terrorist flight engagements' will take place on Tuesday July 7, with a pair of Polish F-16 fighter jets intercepting a plane playing the role of an airliner targeted by hijackers, whose flight path from Krakow takes it into airspace patrolled by the Russia. Two Russian Sukhoi fighter jets will then escort and assist the airliner in landing. The scenario assumes that the civilians aboard the airliner prevent the hijackers from gaining control the aircraft, but it suffers navigation equipment damage in the fight, NATO said. A second mission plans an intercept and escort of an already-hijacked airline not communicating with the ground and moving between Turkish and Russian airspace over the Black Sea. Relations between Russia and NATO sometimes are tense. The Kremlin has singled out a US plan to deploy anti-missile defences in East Europe, and NATO deployments of fighter squadrons to the former Soviet Baltic states as particular irritants. US officials have said anti-missile defences planned to be deployed in Poland are aimed at possible Iranian, not Russian, missiles, and NATO has said its deployment of combat aircraft to airfields in new NATO members Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are defensive in nature. A goal of the Vigilant Skies exercise is to build trust between the two sides, the NATO statement said.Hmmmm......Someone preparing for the Sochi 2014 olympics?Read the full story here.
- Shop opened in Kabul's only synagogue.(Ynet). Kebabs, carpets and flowers served and sold on ground floor of building transformed into businesses by Afghanistan's sole remaining Jew. A lattice of corrugated iron Star of Davids marks Afghanistan's only working synagogue, a white-washed, two-story building tucked into a side street in the center of Kabul. Kebabs, carpets and flowers are served and sold on the ground floor of the synagogue, which has been transformed into businesses over the last 18 months by the country's sole remaining Jew, who lives upstairs in a small pink room.Café manager Sayed Ahmad is unfazed by his small café's history, where Kabul's hundreds-strong Jewish community once gathered for prayers. Most fled to Israel and the United States amid the Soviet invasion of 1979."Some of my customers know this is the synagogue and know about the Jew upstairs, but they don't care and neither do I," Ahmad told Reuters in his cafe, where bearded men on purple cushions puff on water pipes and eat traditional Afghan food.The firebrand anti-Semitism found in some other Muslim countries, often fueled by anti-Israeli sentiment, seems noticeably absent among ordinary Afghans."I pray my way and he prays his way. I see him as a friend, someone to spend time with," Ahmad said of his landlord, sitting beside large black and silver wall-hangings depicting Mecca.Zebulon Simentov, who chose to stay behind when his wife and children emigrated to Israel, has been known to conduct services in the upstairs of the synagogue for visiting Jews even though he is not a rabbi.He achieved fame beyond Afghanistan's borders because of a raging feud with the country's second-last Jew that only ended when his rival died in 2005, and which inspired a US play.Now living alone in the synagogue, the 52 year-old says the building has become too hard to maintain."This place is big and I need money," he told Reuters as he adjusted his pajama-like shalwar kameez, traditional clothing for men in the region.Simentov traces his ancestors to the western Afghan city of Herat, the cradle of Afghanistan's Jewish civilization, which he still visits sometimes. But after 2,000 years, the community there has died out.Today, only raised Jewish graves with Hebrew lettering and ornate stone synagogues remain, one of which was renovated two years ago and turned into a school for Afghan children, a move celebrated by Herat's Jews who had left for the West.In Kabul, Simentov spends most of his time in his small room, where Hebrew calendars look down on a small red sofa bed and a mahogany table laden with silver bowls of almonds and Shabbat candles.Three businessmen now rent space from him, and may be joined by others, in a city where despite decades of war, property prices are booming and space is at a premium.He said a grey-painted room littered with concrete debris, adjoining his, would also be put on the market. "Soon that one will also be rented out."Wary of talking to reporters after years of media attention, he declined to comment further on his plans for the synagogue.But he is well-liked by his neighbors and tenants. Amongst the unpaved and dusty roads encircling his synagogue, he is known simply as "the Jew," or "Yehud" in his native Dari. His penchant for whisky - extremely expensive and hard to obtain in Muslim Afghanistan, but totally permissible in Judaism - has also earned him affection.Read the full story here.
- German police say foiled forced-marriage kidnap bid.(Expatia).German police said Tuesday they had foiled a bid by two Turks to kidnap a 17-year-old girl for a forced marriage in Turkey.The attempted abduction of the French teenager of Turkish origin, from Sarregumines, in eastern France, took place on Sunday, just across the German border, in Saarbruecken, police said.Two Turks, aged 35 and 37, blocked the car in which the alleged victim was being driven by a 20-year-old friend at a traffic light, forcing her into their own car."Thanks to eyewitness reports, a regional search was launched which allowed police in Rhineland-Palatinate to intercept the car" some 60 kilometers (40 miles) further east, police in Saarland said.A preliminary investigation found that the two arrested men wanted to take the French-born girl to Turkey where she was to be married against her will, police added.Hmmmm......Another reason to keep Turkey out of the European union.Read the full story here.
- Syria Live Blog - June 07. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 07. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 07 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.8 ! More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 129.On 07.06.2011 at 02:50 GMT+2
Japan's nuclear safety agency has more than doubled its estimate of the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it believes the earthquake-stricken Fukushima plant emitted nearly 800,000 terabecquerels of radioactive material into the air in the days after it was hit by a massive tsunami. That is more than double the original estimate and is based on new information suggesting the No.1 and No.2 reactors suffered meltdowns much earlier than thought. The revision reveals the failure to contain the disaster resulted in much more radioactive contamination of the soil, sea and air than the plant's operators had acknowledged. The disaster is rated a maximum seven on the international nuclear accident scale, the same level as the Chernobyl meltdown 25 years ago. Late last month, it was feared two workers at the crippled nuclear plant were exposed to radiation above the level allowed in emergencies. Japanese media reported the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) workers were exposed to at least 250 millisieverts of radiation. The maximum dose used to be 100 millisieverts, but it was raised to 250 after the nuclear crisis began. It is believed the men were exposed while working in the plant's central control room and outside the reactor buildings. Internal exposure occurs when people take radioactive substances into their bodies through tainted air or food and drink. Media reports say the workers were found with levels of radioactive iodine in their thyroid glands 10 times higher than that of their fellow workers. TEPCO says it has been measuring the internal exposure to radiation of all employees involved in emergency work at the Fukushima Daiichi plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.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 41-
On 06.06.2011 at 19:28 GMT+2
German scientists have found no traces of Ecoli bacteria at an organic vegetable farm believed to be the source of an outbreak that has killed 22 people, but said, this did not mean their suspicions were wrong. Even though first lab tests on bean sprouts from the farm were negative, officials said they were not surprised because any contaminated produce could have been long since distributed. In Bienenbuettel, the manager of the farm said he could not understand how his small organic food operation could be the source of an infection that is usually transmitted through faeces, or food or water contaminated with faecal bacteria. The rare Shiga toxin-producing Ecoli strain found in this outbreak is known to be able to lurk in cows' intestines. Scientists believed investigators were now on the right trail. A number of the victims were linked to restaurants that had been supplied by the organic farm in Bienenbuettel. The relief in Germany that investigators had finally found a possible source of the bacteria was tempered by the cautious tone of official statements, and by mounting losses for farmers and retailers across Europe caused by three weeks of panic. Scientists say the contamination may have been on or in the bean seeds themselves, or in the water used to grow them, or have come from a worker handling them.
In Brussels, the European Commission has said it would hold a special meeting of EU farm ministers in Luxembourg tomorrow. One EU source has said that the ministers would discuss financial aid to fruit and vegetable producers hit by the E coli crisis. German officials are under intense pressure to identify the source of the outbreak, have been warning consumers to avoid tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, and at one stage said Spanish cucumbers might be the source. The rare and highly toxic strain of Ecoli has killed 21 Germans and one Swede. In Geneva, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was awaiting more information from the Robert Koch Institute, the German institute for disease control. The health emergency has strained ties between EU members Spain and Germany and led Russia to ban imports of EU fruit and vegetables. Spanish farmers say lost sales have been costing them 200 million euros a week, and officials said they might claim compensation. The crisis could put 70,000 people out of work in Spain, which already has the highest unemployment in the EU. Professor of public health at the University of East Anglia Paul Hunter has said that bean sprouts are very frequently the cause of outbreaks on both sides of the Atlantic Professor Hunter said that 'they're very difficult to grow hygienically and you have to be so careful not to contaminate them.'Source.
- Superbug timebomb: Scientists fear the over-use of antibiotics in medicine and farming may have led to the deadly E.coli outbreak.(DailyMail).So far, more than 20 people are dead and hundreds are seriously ill with a nasty kidney disease.From the probable source of the outbreak, in northern Germany, the virulent E. coli O104:H4 strain has spread to more than a dozen countries. Now the public and doctors alike are wondering how such a common — and normally manageable — bacterium could have mutated into this deadly strain: a drug-resistant superbug.Escherichia coli is by no means a rare or new species of bacterium. Found in the gut of warm-blooded animals, from chickens to pigs, cattle and people, E. coli and humans have coexisted for millennia.Indeed, you probably have about ten billion E. coli microbes in your gut, a seething mass of a dozen strains. And mostly all are harmless; part of the body’s natural ecosystem.E. coli is generally a problem only if it gets to where it shouldn’t be — say, into the urinary tract — or, as in this case, when a new strain emerges that is highly infectious and virulent.The bacterium has, of course, caused problems before, notably in 1996 when an outbreak of E. coli O157 killed seven and hospitalised several hundred people in Scotland.What is causing most concern among scientists this time is a third factor present in E. coli O104:H4 — antibiotic resistance.Scientists believe that over-prescription of antibiotics for humans and the massive and unregulated overuse of these drugs on livestock by farmers in many countries is creating a microbiological timebomb that is primed to overwhelm our defences.This particular outbreak appears to have been caused by an unholy combination of microbes — two older strains of E. coli, which have hybridised and mutated, plus an unrelated virus that has infected the bacteria, giving them the genes to produce the Shiga toxin. This causes a complication called haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which damages the kidneys and blood vessels, and can kill.Ironically, the fact that E. coli O104:H4 is resistant to almost all commonly prescribed antibiotics is, in clinical terms, not important. Even if antibiotics worked perfectly against this germ, doctors would never prescribe them because, in destroying the microbes, the drug would hasten the release of the Shiga toxin as the bacterial cells burst.‘We are all very worried,’ says leading microbiological expert Professor Chris Thomas. ‘The level of resistance is increasing all the time. E. coli is one of the bacteria we are worried about in hospitals as we are seeing strains resistant to all antibiotics.’Genes that make the bacteria resistant to penicillin-type drugs have been emerging with alarming rapidity. Recently, a gene called NDMI emerged in an E. coli strain that found its way into the public water supply in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.The gene conferred almost total antibiotic resistance to the bacterium, turning it into a superbug. The NDMI gene has also cropped up in other bacteria that cause pneumonia.Two things seem to be happening here. First, all over the world doctors are massively overprescribing antibiotics (and in many countries you do not need a prescription), often for diseases caused by viruses, such as the common cold and flu, against which antibiotics do not work. This has the effect of killing off huge numbers of weaker bacteria in our bodies, allowing the strongest microbes — those with some natural resistance to antibiotics — to flourish, divide and conquer the microbiological ecosystem. Undigested antibiotics can be excreted in urine, enter the water table and spread the problem.Second, it may be farming that has the greatest potential to create a new generation of superbugs. In the U.S., billions of doses of powerful antibiotics are administered to farm animals every year. These drugs are not given to cure disease; it would appear that large doses of antibiotics can modify the gut of perfectly healthy animals, making them put on weight more quickly — so increasing profits for the farmer. This practice is banned in the EU, but even here farmers are allowed to administer huge quantities of antibiotics to pigs, cows and chickens to cure and prevent disease. Intensive, industrial farming seems to be a dangerously efficient way of generating antibiotic-resistance among common gut bacteria. These hardy germs then enter the food chain by being eaten directly (though they will be killed by cooking) or via farmyard slurry finding its way into rivers and streams. Infected shellfish are a common source of outbreaks — you should never eat mussels gathered after heavy rain because this is when emergency storm-water drains will release untreated sewage into rivers.Solid waste from sewage plants may pollute rivers and estuaries and even be used as a fertiliser, while contaminated water may be used to irrigate fields — and it is suspected this is what may have sparked the current outbreak.In the war against the bacteria, we have a range of powerful weapons at our command. Basic hygiene, refrigeration, cooking and, in particular, antibiotics have given us the upper hand for the best part of a century.But the microbes have an equally powerful weapon, too — their ability to evolve rapidly and in novel directions, swapping genes with each other and incorporating snippets of DNA from viruses as well.Though we have developed drugs capable of killing up to 99.999 per cent of our microbial foes, for an organism that divides rapidly enough to go from one individual to a billion in a few days, it is those few hardy survivors, the true superbugs, which are giving the microbiologists nightmares.Hmmmm......The apprentice 'sorcerers' have encountered their 'creation'?Read the full story here.More on this subject here and here .
- My name is Meagan Broussard. I am 26 years old. (BigGovernment).I served in the U.S. Army, and I am a full-time college student and a single mom.I admired Rep. Anthony Weiner because I had seen a video of him standing up for the 9/11 responders. It was a rant, but he came across as someone very passionate, someone who cares about what he believes in. I didn’t know much more about him.On April 20, I clicked on his Facebook page that I “liked” a video of Rep. Weiner addressing a gathering of construction workers in Washington, DC. I commented that it was “hot.” That’s the only way I came into contact with him at first.From there, he introduced himself to me over Facebook Chat. Within an hour, we were sending messages back and forth. It became an everyday correspondence.We chatted often, but I wasn’t always available. It was “Hello, how are you doing, where are you going,” that kind of thing. Sometimes, it was more personal. I don’t want to get deeply into all of that.I don’t want to portray him as a horrible person because I just don’t know him.I was contacted and asked to tell my story. I finally came forward last week because I saw on television that Rep. Weiner had hired an investigating firm to go through all of his files. I worried that there would be people looking at my pictures and messages. I was nervous, but decided that since my messages with Rep. Weiner were going to come out anyway, I wanted to tell my own story rather than have other people talking about me when they didn’t know anything.I’m not on a crusade to “take him down.” I just acted to protect myself and my family.All of this still makes me really nervous. I live in a small town. I don’t want this and all the anxiety that comes with it. I was worried that all of my personal messages and photos were going to come out, and so I came forward. I just hope to be left in peace.Read the full story here.
- We women have to stick together, Pelosi Calls For House Ethics Investigation Of Weiner.(Wapo).But after his news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she was calling for a House ethics committee probe into whether government resources had been mishandled.“I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred,” Pelosi said.Pelosi added that she was “deeply disappointed and saddened” for Weiner’s wife and constituents.Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) agreed that an ethics panel must review the situation in order to “remove all remaining doubt about this situation.” “Ultimately, Anthony and his constituents will make a judgment about his future,” Israel said in a statement.Hmmmm......Welcome to Dante's inferno?Read the full story here.
- Valerie Jarrett’s Father-in-Law Was a Communist – Worked With Obama Mentor Frank Marshall Davis.(NoisyRoom).Senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett’s late father-in-law and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Vernon Jarrett, was a key member of the South Chicago communist left of the late 1940s.After graduating from Knoxville College in Tennessee, Jarrett moved to Chicago in 1946 to work as a journalist. On his first day on the job at the radical Chicago Defender, he was sent to cover a race riot.The Defender was heavily influenced by the Communist Party USA and included on its roster well known Chicago Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.Jarrett and Davis worked on the Defender around the same time. They certainly knew each other through the Communist Party and its fronts.In June 1946, Vernon Jarrett was elected to the Illinois Council of the Communist Party’s youth wing, then known as American Youth for Democracy. This is according to Testimony of Walter S. Steele regarding Communist activities in the United States. Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, first session, on H. R. 1884 and H. R. 2122, pages 75,76. It is the first hard evidence tying Vernon Jarrett directly to the Communist Party. Frank Marshall Davis, incidentally was an official sponsor of American Youth for Democracy, along with confirmed communists Howard Fast, Langston Hughes, John Howard Lawson and Dirk Struik.In April 1948, Frank Marshall Davis and Vernon Jarrett were working together as members of the publicity committee of the communist controlled Citizens’ Committee to Aid Packing-House Workers.Besides Davis and Jarrett, communist officials of the strike committee included Oscar Brown (Treasurer), Louise Patterson (Assistant Treasurer) and Ishmael Flory (food & groceries committee).Later that year, Frank Marshall Davis left Chicago for Hawaii to work on the Honolulu Record, then edited and run by Communist Party member Koji Ariyoshi.A member of the “Dixie Mission” to Yenan, the HQ of the Chinese communist forces in the 1940s, Ariyoshi spent nearly two years in China as an officer of an all-Nisei psychological warfare unit. The unit’s job was to direct propaganda against the Japanese civilians and troops in China at the time.Immediately after the war, Ariyoshi worked New York City with accused “Amerasia” spy John S. Service and Ed Rohrbough – who would become business manager of the Honolulu Record, in an effort to steer U.S. policy towards the Chinese Communists and against the Nationalists. Ariyoshi also worked the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy, whose board included two people later arrested during the famous “Amerasia” spy case, “Amerasia editors Philip J. Jaffe and Kate L. Mitchell.Frank Marshall Davis was an active member of the Communist Party in Hawaii even after it went formally underground in 1950, when he assumed chairmanship of a tiny cell known as Group #10. Later Davis joined in the infiltration of the Hawaii Democratic Party, serving in 1950 as Assistant Secretary and Delegate to the Territorial Democratic Convention in his Precinct Club – Third Precinct of the Fifth District.Communist Frank Marshall Davis worked closely with comrade Vernon Jarrett in 1940′s Chicago. Davis moved to Hawaii where he eventually met and mentored a young Barack Obama. Meanwhile Vernon Jarrett helped elect communist/socialist backed Harold Washington to the Chicago mayoralty. Washington’s victory inspired Barack Obama to move to Chicago, where his career was promoted by both Vernon Jarrett and the Communist Party.Vernon Jarrett’s daughter-in-law Valerie Jarrett, worked for Harold Washington. Later she employed Barack Obama’s fiancee, Michelle Robinson, befriended the family and became one of President Obama’s most trusted advisers.In Chicago and nationally, the Communist Party threw its entire weight behind Obama’s Senate and Presidential campaigns.Is this is all mere coincidence?More importantly, given the connections of Frank Marshall Davis and the Communist Party USA to Soviet networks of the time, are there serious security implications here?Hmmmmm........If he really wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuehrer.Hmmmm......Take your time to read it here.
- Federal Reserve Admits: We Have No Gold.(SHTF).The following exchange between Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) and the Fed’s attorney Scott Alvarez proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that The Federal Reserve has no gold backing the US dollar.Most in the alternative news sphere suspected it – now it’s fact.The Federal Reserve does not own any gold at all. We have not owned gold since 1934, so we have not engaged in any gold swap.What appears on our balance sheet is gold certificates…Before 1934 the Federal Reserve did, we did own gold. We turned that over by law to the Treasury and received in return for that gold certificates.The exact relationship between the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury and these non-tradeable gold certificates is not exactly clear, but an attempt to explain what’s actually going on has been put forth by goldnews.com.
In any case, we can analyze the implications of the basic facts and come to a couple of conclusions:
- The widespread notion that the Fed owns gold is false. The corollary to this is the mistaken belief that the Fed understates its gold holdings on its balance sheet by only reporting certificates based on the $42.22 statutory gold value. The Fed does not in fact own the US gold stock multiplied by the market price of gold, unless the Treasury defaults and even then its not clear. The Fed does, however, own a claim to currency totaling $11.1 billion and this value has a remote chance of going up significantly if the Treasury revalues its gold and maintains the practice initiated in the Par Value Modification Act.
- The fact that the Fed owns no gold, nor claims to any gold, means the fundamental value of the dollar lacks any backing besides dollars themselves, not including Fed building and equipment. Dollars are in essence worth a lot less than many people thought, and the Fed is much more impotent in using the prowess of their assets, and conducting monetary policy in general, than many believed. In all, Alvarez’s clarification strengthens the case for gold’s high dollar value immensely.
An interesting perspective, and one, if true, suggests that the value of your dollar in terms of gold is actually much less than believed – like close to zero. Our currency is not only not backed by gold, but in the event of a dollar meltdown the only assets backing the world’s reserve currency are worthless toxic mortgages purchased by The Fed in recent years from insolvent banking institutions.The only thing holding this thing together at this point is market confidence. When that goes, everything else goes with it.Hmmmm......How about this Grand canyon bungy jump without a rope?Read the full story here.
- Obama Names John Bryson Commerce Secretary from Mars.(WhitehouseDossier).President Obama has named John Bryson to be the Commerce Secretary from Mars, a new position that will promote Martian business interests.The real Commerce Secretary will be chosen within a few days.Obama is calling Bryson his “Commerce Secretary” pick so as not to raise a fuss. But there is clear evidence that this is IN FACT the Commerce Secretary from Mars, and that he will not helping human business owners.Bryson is a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group which, through its advocacy of the environment, is devoted to making the cost of doing business more expensive. So he couldn’t possibly be the new Commerce Secretary.It’s just that there is a natural tension between environmentalists and business, because business tends to make a mess, and environmentalists want business to clean up as much of it as possible. A leading environmentalist is not going to be devoted day and night, as well as night and day, to doing whatever he can to promote U.S. business. It’s not in his DNA.Environmentalists, to put it bluntly, are on the opposite side of business. It’s just one of those natural tensions that exist in society: Unions are opposed to management; doctors are opposed to health insurers; oil companies are opposed to ethanol; cowboys are opposed to indians, lobsters are opposed to boiling water, and so forth.And that’s why it’s impossible that Obama is choosing someone who FOUNDED the NRDC to be the nation’s chief advocate for business. So he must be working for Martians.His environmentalist enthusiasms have propelled Bryson to sit on the board of directors of Coda Automotive, a California-based electric vehicle manufacturer that for the time being at least will be making both its cars and batteries in China.Ironically enough, Obama is putting forth as Commerce Secretary a man who serves with a company that is tapping cheap Chinese auto labor at the same time Obama is aggressively touting the bailouts of Chrysler and GM that saved expensive American unions jobs at huge taxpayer expense.Coda will presumably be sharing sophisticated technology with the Chinese. The Chinese government is reportedly putting up hundreds of millions to support the enterprise.Are we going to have a Commerce Secretary who is afraid to piss off the Chinese??Putting someone who is working with the Chinese government in charge of boosting U.S. companies does not seem realistic, which is another reason why Obama instead made Bryson Commerce Secretary from Mars.Hmmmm.......You will obey and drive in my little electric cars..........Do you understand?Read the full story here.
- Special Report: Inside Germany's E.coli hunt.(Yahoo)The deadliest outbreak of its type on record has so far killed 23 people -- 22 in Germany and one in Sweden. Striking suddenly in the middle of a hot and sunny May, the crisis has doctors struggling to explain the outbreak and public health authorities in one of Europe's most famously organised countries stumped as to how to manage it and how to stop it happening again. As the outbreak enters its second month, plenty of questions remain, not least of which is this: If the Germans can't manage an outbreak, who can?"They can't rule out HUS yet," Erika says, drawing deeply on yet another cigarette. "It makes you think."BLAME THE SPROUTS.The first case in Germany's E.coli outbreak was reported on May 1. Soon an average of nine cases a day were being reported, rising to 122 cases on May 23 alone.At first, German officials blamed cucumbers -- specifically, Spanish cucumbers. Within days, though, investigators had ruled out the vegetable and started looking closer to home for the cause. Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to explain Germany's actions to an irate Spanish prime minister and Spanish farmers later said they might sue for damages.Germany's main center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), deployed 10 teams to outbreak hotspots such as restaurants and canteens and to ask patients exactly what they ate for each course. To double check the data, customers of these establishments who did not fall ill have been interviewed too. Officials have also sifted through the contents of rubbish bins and fridges and sent some of their contents for analysis.Specialists working around the clock at RKI headquarters in Berlin cross-check the data looking for what the institute's president, Reinhard Burger, called a "common denominator". So far that's pointed the finger of blame at raw vegetables.After a few days the search took scientists to the Kartoffelkeller (Potato Cellar) restaurant in Luebeck, north east of Hamburg. The former medieval hospital offers traditional fare based on meat and potatoes. On May 13 it had served dinner to a large group of female tax officials. Then 17 people who had eaten there had fallen sick -- and one of the tax officers had died.Owner Joachim Berger said health inspectors turned the place upside down without finding anything and when Reuters visited at lunchtime on June 4, the Kartoffelkeller was open for business and full. None of his staff had become ill, Berger said. "Everything has been re-disinfected and inspected, but it's clear nobody here is sick, and we all eat the food ourselves."But public health officials believed they were on the right track. On June 5, Lower Saxony state agriculture minister Gert Lindemann said a "really hot lead" pointed to sprout varieties (alfalfa, mung bean, radish and arugula) from a supplier that sold the Kartoffelkeller its vegetables. Johanna Tramma at the Fruchthof, a family firm in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, said her sprouts had come from a farm in Lower Saxony which also supplied Hamburg's wholesale market.Perhaps the E.coli detectives should have focused in on sprouts more quickly. An outbreak in Japan in 1996, which killed 11 people, was traced back to a similar source, and a U.S. outbreak in 1997 came from alfalfa sprouts.Officials rushed to the Gaertnerhof farm in the town of Bienenbuettel in Lower Saxony, but the order to shut it down came almost too late. It was sealed off at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday -- 20 minutes after a truckload of sprouts left for Hamburg for sale. It was recalled and returned to the farm while health officials told people to avoid bean sprouts as well as the other raw salad vegetables already on the danger list.The farm's owner Klaus Verbeck told a local paper -- before retreating behind a fence patrolled by security guards -- that the Gaertnerhof had been growing organic sprouts for 25 years and was given a clean bill of health for E.coli as recently as the second half of May. Neighbor Sibylle Lange, 45, described the owners as "very serious, hardworking people who were very early producers of organic products".In many ways the bean sprout theory sounds reassuringly likely. Scientists say the steamy temperatures at which sprouts are cultivated are an ideal incubation ground for any microbe.But even the sprouts may not be the culprits. Evidence so far is circumstantial and the first tests on suspect sprouts from Lower Saxony have been inconclusive, said the regional agriculture ministry.The exact source may never be pinned down."We can't rule out that the source of the outbreak cannot be retraced anymore. That's not unusual in these circumstances," said Burger at the RKI, adding that the original source of the infection may no longer exist.The German E.coli strain was first sequenced by a laboratory at the Beijing Genomics Institute, the world's largest DNA sequencing center. On June 3 it identified the E.coli as a new and "highly infectious and toxic" strain.There is no a clear indication yet if the rate of infection has peaked. "We hope that it fades and in the past few days, when we look at the numbers, we see it's getting better," Joerg Debatin, the medical director and CEO at Hamburg-Eppendorf, told Reuters. "But we honestly said the same thing a week ago."E.coli turns into HUS when bacterial or "Shiga" toxins enter the bloodstream, according to kidney specialist Professor Rolf Stahl, head of nephrology at the Hamburg university clinic. That can lead to potential kidney and neurological damage and even trigger epilepsy.Like other E.coli patients, Erika was given medicine to repair her intestinal flora and told to disinfect her household and drink plenty of liquids. But she was not given antibiotics as doctors say this strain of the bug can be resistant and there is growing concern among scientists about the spread of resistance to antibiotics among many common bacteria.Even when it is contained, the outbreak will have done lasting damage to at least some conceptions about 'healthy' organic food in a part of the world where enthusiasm for natural produce is high."Genfood? Nein, Danke!" reads a bumper sticker with a smiley tomato logo on a truck at the Gaertnerhof farm in Bienenbuettel. Adapting the smiley sun-logo of the German anti-nuclear lobby to oppose genetically modified food -- "Genfood" -- proponents of natural foods have seen the organic market in Germany grow to 5.8 billion euros by 2009 (the latest figures available from the national organic trade body). Just under a fifth of that comes from German farms.Yet some studies suggest organic food is risky, especially when eaten raw, because farmers shun chemicals and rely on fertilizers such as manure or slurry. The Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli behind this outbreak are known to lurk in cattle guts.Hmmmm.....Cattle that is being treated with high doses of anti biotics.Read the full story here.
- 'Pro-Israeli campaign aims to weaken Turkey'.(Ynet).Turkish leaders including PM Erdogan outraged over Economist editorial urging voters to back opposition in imminent elections.Turkish leaders have lined up to condemn the Economist magazine for an editorial that urged voters to back the opposition in Sunday's election, calling it part of an anti-democratic, pro-Israeli campaign to weaken Turkey.Opinion polls indicate Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party will comfortably secure a third term.Erdogan himself said the article showed Israeli influence."The international media, because they are backed by Israel, wouldn't be happy with the continuation of the AK Party government," Erdogan said, according to comments reported by the state-run Anatolian agency at the weekend.In an editorial entitled "One for the opposition," the avowedly pro-free-market, pro-democracy Economist, which regularly expresses a party preference in advance of elections, wrote: "The best way for Turks to promote democracy would be to vote against the ruling party."A leading member of Erdogan's AK Party, which currently has a large majority in parliament, saw the article as reflecting a desire in Europe to weaken Turkey."A growing Turkey does not suit the British or the Germans or the French. They want Turkey to be condemned to coalition governments again. That is the scenario," Anatolian reported senior AK Party official Suat Kilic as saying.The Economist said it was not surprising voters were set to return the AK Party to power as the economy had done very well under its rule, while reforms had secured the start of EU talks and sent the politically intrusive army back to its barracks.But it said Erdogan's victories in struggles with the army and judiciary had eliminated many checks and balances, freeing him to "indulge his natural intolerance of criticism" and feeding his "autocratic instincts."It a vote for the opposition CHP "would both reduce the risks of unilateral changes that would make the constitution worse and give the opposition a fair chance of winning a future election.""That would be by far the best guarantee of Turkey's democracy," it said.Hmmmm.....Very truthfull article.Read the full story here.
- Iranian navy sends submarines to Red Sea.(HurriyetDaily).Iran has sent submarines to the Red Sea in the first such deployment by the country's navy in distant waters, a semi-official news agency reported on Tuesday.The deployment reflects Iran's efforts to show off its naval power. Iran has long sought to upgrade its air defense systems and navy to portray itself as a regional military superpower, as well as prepare for any possible future attacks against the country, saying they would most likely be air and sea-based.The Fars news agency, which is close to Iranian military officials, said the submarines would collect data in international waters and identify warships of other countries.The report quoted an unnamed government official as saying the submarines accompanied Iranian warships on an anti-piracy route in the Gulf of Aden before they moved into the Red Sea earlier this month. Fars gave no details on the number or capabilities of the submarines.Iran has long had three Russian-made submarines and last year, four new small Iranian-built submarines were delivered to its navy.The four were said to be Ghadir class submarines, which can fire missiles and torpedoes and at the same time are capable of cruising in shallow waters, such as those of the Persian Gulf off the Iranian coast.Israel, the United States and others want to stop Iran from what they fear is a push by Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. So far the pressure on Iran has been mostly through international sanctions but both Israel and the U.S. have not ruled out a military strike if sanctions fail. Iran says its nuclear program aims only to produce electricity.Hmmmm.......Read the full story here.
- Lawsuit Seeks to Block Canadian Flotilla Group.(Investigativeproject).A lawsuit filed in Toronto against the Canadian Boat to Gaza and Alternatives International claims the groups are providing material support to Hamas.The Canadian Boat to Gaza is a member of Freedom Flotilla II, a coalition of groups planning to sail to Gaza at the end of this month to break the Israeli naval embargo on the region. It is committed to "supporting the Hamas rulers of Gaza by importing and exporting goods from the terrorist-ruled territory," the complaint says.Alternatives International, which reportedly received millions of dollars from the Canadian government, is "the self-professed fundraiser and trustee for the Canadian Boat," the lawsuit says. Backers say it is the first litigation aimed at stopping flotilla participants from continuing to raise money for the effort. It also seeks $1 million in damages.Cherna Rosenberg, a citizen of both Canada and Israel, filed the case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Thursday. Rosenberg, who moved to Sderot, Israel in 2007, has been victimized by constant Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza carried out by Hamas. Sderot and surroundiung areas have been the target of rocket attacks from Hamas since 2001. The attacks have killed Israeli civilians, and have caused trauma and property damage in Sderot and the surrounding area.Rosenberg moved from Sderot to Haifa in 2008 to escape the constant fear and anxiety that permeated her life in the region. She frequently visits her daughter and grandchildren who still live in Sderot, which is regularly accompanied by rockets falling, increasing her trauma, the lawsuit says."The trauma of living under Hamas rockets, whose existence is supported and facilitated by the acts of the Defendants, has made the Plaintiff's life in Israel and in Ontario a continuous trauma from which she suffers substantial personal loss," the complaint says.Canada listed Hamas as a terrorist group in 2002. Directly providing Hamas authorities in Gaza with supplies violates the Canadian Criminal Code. The flotilla supporters "are a step in the chain of conduct that ultimately leads to the rocket attacks that have traumatized the Plaintiff and caused her much suffering and loss," the complaint says.Hmmmmm.....Well done.Read the full story here.
- Trump force one: Inside Donald Trump's $100 million 'presidential' 757 jet.(DailyMail).He has already declared himself out of the 2012 presidential race.But new photos show Donald Trump's latest $100 million acquisition is essentially a presidential suite flying the skies - complete with suede ceilings and gold-leaf seatbelts.Trump's Boeing 757 - decked out in his trademark black and gold livery - took off for from New York to Washington, D.C. on Friday.Before taking the jet on its maiden voyage, Trump offered a tour of his new toy to the New York Post.Photos show a plush private bedroom dressed in cream with gold accents, and flat-screen television, wooden desk and electric shades to control the light for a peaceful slumber.The jet, a favourite of presidential candidates according to aviation experts, is double the size of the property tycoon's previous Boeing 727.Its bathroom features a circular shower and gold detailing, while the main cabin shows rows of wide, cushioned seats and cream couches that swivel to face boardroom tables or flat-screen televisions.Gold-leaf detailing on the seatbelts strap in those flying Trump, surrounded by wood paneling accents and large oval windows.The jet was bought for $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in February and has spent the last few months being fitted out in Mr Trump's ostentatious style. The new Trump 757 has room for up to 230 passengers, 80 more than its ageing 727predecessor.According to Matt Molnar of nycaviation.com, the 757 is a 'standard issue' campaign jet for those on the road to the White House.Hmmm....."The mighty duck"?Read the full story here.
- Turkey says flotilla organizers should wait and see new Gaza conditions.(TodaysZaman).Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has advised organizers of a flotilla planning to depart for Gaza later this month to wait and see how Egypt's lifting its embargo of Gaza affects the Hamas-run coastal strip.This is the first time Davutoğlu suggested flotilla organizers to reconsider their plans. He had so far rejected US and Israeli appeals to try to stop the flotilla, saying it is a civilian initiative that the government cannot intervene in and insisting that the international community should pressure Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza instead of trying to prevent the new flotilla. The Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), a Turkish charity that played the lead role in a similar mission to Gaza last year, says a new flotilla will depart for Gaza at the end of June. Last year's mission turned bloody when Israeli commandos stormed a ship owned by İHH, the Mavi Marmara, and killed eight Turks and one Turkish American.In remarks published on Monday, the foreign minister reiterated the government cannot stop the activities of a civilian group, saying it is supported by a number of international organizations and that its work is legal. But he said the flotilla should this time wait to see how conditions in Gaza will change with Egypt lifting its embargo and the anticipated establishment of a Palestinian unity government.“No one should even imagine that the worst-case scenario could happen,” he told the Hürriyet daily in an interview in the central Anatolian province of Konya, where he is on an election campaign visit.To avoid the repetition of last year's tragedy, Israel should also do its share, Davutoğlu said, by lifting the blockade of Gaza. “Israel should wait for the establishment of the new Palestinian government and then lift the blockade of Gaza,” he said.A report published last week said the US was to offer Turkey a proposal under which it would host future Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in return for preventing a second flotilla trip to Gaza.Responding to a question about the reported proposal in a televised interview on Friday night, Davutoğlu said there was no request from the US to prevent the flotilla from sailing.Hmmmm......Considering the "Audacity of Hate" laying in an US port the latter will be truth.Don't listen to what i say,look at what i do.Read the full story here.
- Selective religious freedom is not freedom: The Turkish Case.(HurriyetDaily).What some observers see as “Turkey’s bloodless civil war” was perhaps best captured in the words of Bülent Arınç, then parliamentary speaker and today deputy prime minister, in the run-up to the presidential election in 2007, “They [secular Turks] don’t want a Muslim president!” Yet Turkey’s former presidents or potential rivals to Mr. Arınç’s favorite candidate were neither Christians nor Jews, or anything but adherents to Islam. For Mr. Arınç, “Muslim” meant a “Muslim like me.”Turkey’s bloodless civil war is between pious Muslims who want the public space to be dominated by their interpretation of religion and less dogmatic and secular Muslims who believe in strict separation of state and mosque. Mr. Arınç’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has advocated greater religious freedoms since it came to power in 2002, but its favoritism toward a chosen practice of piety has deeply polarized Turkey. Turkey's “war of religion” is not between two religions, nor is it between the faithful and atheists; it is a contest between believers of the same faith with divergent interpretations of its strictures and/or different levels of observance.The AKP’s initial systematic attempt to inject piety into the Turkish society was to appoint and promote observant Muslims to influential positions in the state bureaucracy. In the meantime, strictly observant businessmen began to receive lucrative government contracts, as their piety became a powerful bond with the government-appointed decision-makers, and an unstated advantage in gaining official business.Today, Turkish campuses properly enjoy freedom for the headscarf, but lack any other freedom the ruling party deems inappropriate "to our moral values." Many students who have protested against the policies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or his cabinet heavyweights have been subject to brutal police attacks, subsequent detention and prosecution.Greater public space for certain practices of the majority sect of Turkey’s majority religion also mean smaller space for less pious practices. Tighter alcohol restrictions by the government, public disapproval and sometimes physical attacks on drinkers, and a visible intolerance of those who eat pork or do not fast during Ramadan are new facts of life in Turkey. At the heart of the problem is strictly observant Muslims’ self-granted authority to collectively define and combat evil and command good for all Turks, rather than just individually avoid evil and choose good. Recently, the head of the alcohol and tobacco watchdog, another AKP-appointee, complained that he “cannot easily find a fish restaurant, which does not serve alcohol on the Bosporus.” Going to a fully-licensed restaurant and simply not drinking alcohol apparently would not satisfy his reading of Muslim law.With systematic government backing and legislation in favor of broader requirements for piety in public space, strictly observant Muslims increasingly do not accept faith as a private matter, and often do not respect divergent degrees of observance, or no observance at all. The most dogmatic Turkish Muslims often ignore, for instance, that the Quran commands Muslims to avoid alcohol but nowhere commands them to attack those who consume it.Selective advocacy of religious freedoms in Turkey, whose prime minister is the co-chairman of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, is promoting an increasingly pious populace that is less tolerant of those different from them. A piercing question rises from the Turkish experience: How can those who seek to enforce, rather than only embrace, the strictest interpretation of their own faith ever be at peace with other faiths, or with agnostics or atheists?Hmmmm.....Welcome to Turkey .......Iranian style.Read the full story here.
- Lesbian blogger kidnapped in Syria.(HurriyetDaily).A female blogger has been abducted by armed men in the Syrian capital, Damascus, relatives and activists say.Amina Abdallah Araf was seized on Monday evening, as she was walking in the area of the Abbasid bus station, according to her cousin, Rania O. Ismail."Amina was seized by three men in their early 20's. According to the witness [a friend accompanying Abdallah], the men were armed", Ismail wrote on Abdallah's blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus."One of the men then put his hand over Amina's mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad," she continued, referring to President Bashar al-Assad's brother who died in a car accident in 1994.Abdallah, openly lesbian, holds dual Syrian and American citizenship.According to Al Jazeera, Ismail wrote that her cousin's whereabouts were unknown, and that the family was trying to track her down."We do not know who took her, so we do not know who to ask to get her back. It is possible that they are forcibly deporting her," she wrote."From other family members who have been imprisoned there, we believe that she is likely to be released fairly soon. If they wanted to kill her, they would have done so. That is what we are all praying for."Since mass protests erupted in Syria in March, Abdallah has been increasingly critical of the the government, writing on Sunday: "They must go, they must go soon. That is all there is to say."On April 26, she wrote about how her father faced down two security agents who came to arrest her, threatening to rape her and accusing her of being a involved in a Salafist plot.Mixing regime criticism with humour and poems, Abdallah has been outspoken about the situation for homosexuals and other subjects which are taboo in Arab culture.Several Facebook pages calling for her release were set up on Monday and activists also launched a campaign on Twitter.Syrian authorities had been cracking down on journalists and bloggers even before protests began.A number of bloggers were arrested in February, and 20-year-old Tal al-Mallouhi, a 20-year-old girl, was jailed on charges on spying for a foreign country.Read the full story here.
- Malaysia police slammed for cattle-branding women.(JakartaPost).Malaysian lawyers, politicians and activists lambasted the police Saturday, accusing them of abusing their power in chaining up and marking the bodies of 30 foreign women detained for alleged prostitution.Police raided a high-end nightclub in northern Penang state late Thursday and arrested 29 women from China and one from Vietnam, along with eight Malaysian men. Local media reported police officers went undercover at the club for a week before the raid.It triggered an outcry after local newspapers carried photos of the women bound up with a long chain and marked with either a tick or an X on their chest and forehead."The police branded the detained women as though they are cattle," opposition lawmaker Teresa Kok said in a statement. "It is sickening that the police would employ such dehumanizing tactics as a show of power and moral superiority over their detainees."Women's rights group Tenaganita said the detainees had been victimized and called for an investigation into the police conduct.Another rights group, Lawyers for Liberty, said the police action was "very unusual and inhumane" as the women were merely suspects and not convicted of any crime.Police have defended their action, saying the markings served as a way to identify the women.Penang police chief Ayub Yaakob told the New Straits Times that the situation was chaotic, with the suspects trying to escape. He said police were forced to mark the women after some donned new clothes to try and blend in with other female patrons of the club.He also said the women had wrecked many marriages and that police had received numerous complaints from wives of men who sought their services.Hmmmm.............Read the full story here.