Friday, June 10, 2011
Hmmm......Seems surprisingly only women have pitty on "The Weiner".
CREDIT: to the RightScoop.
- Syria Live Blog - June 10. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 10. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 10. Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.6 ! 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 49- Source.
- Michelle Obama to appear on "iCarly", to be aired in time for 2012 'Campaign'.(Emirates247).First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on children's TV show "iCarly," -- a favorite program of her daughters -- to promote her initiative to support military families, the network behind the show said on Wednesday.Michelle Obama chose "iCarly" because the lead character, Carly Shay who is played by Miranda Cosgrove, is the daughter of an Air Force colonel, according to the cable network Nickelodeon.In the episode that will feature the first lady, Carly's father is not able to make it home for his birthday as planned. Michelle Obama will talk to Carly about how she is serving her country by being in a military family, the network said.The episode will be shot on Monday and is scheduled to air in early 2012.In the show "iCarly," which was created in 2007, Carly and her friends are constantly busy making a webcast for and about kids their age. The episode with Obama also revolves around a webcast.Michelle Obama has said that she watches "iCarly" with her daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9. The first lady, and vice-president Joe Biden's wife Jill, recently launched an initiative called Joining Forces to encourage all Americans to help soldiers and their families.Hmmmm.....Perhaps after the show they can release Osama's pictures?Campaigning never stops.Read the full story here.
- A Twitter Group Warned About Weiner.(NYtimes).Three months before Representative Anthony D. Weiner sent a photo from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old Washington State college student named Gennette Cordova, a small group of determined, self-described conservatives was warning young women on Twitter, including Ms. Cordova, to be wary of him. Calling themselves the #bornfreecrew on Twitter, members of the group closely monitored those whom Mr. Weiner was following, taking it upon themselves to contact young women they believed to be “schoolgirls,” and urging them publicly to stay away from him, according to an analysis of posts on Twitter’s public stream. By early May, members of the group were also speculating that Mr. Weiner would be caught in a sex scandal. The leader, a man who identified himself on Twitter as Dan Wolfe and used the handle @PatriotUSA76, is the same Twitter user who discovered the photograph that Mr. Weiner took of himself and sent to Ms. Cordova. He shared it with his followers and the conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who made it public the next day.As Democrats and Republicans embrace Twitter and other social media tools as a way to interact with their constituents and woo voters, many have discovered a downside to online communication: cyberstalkers, who track and criticize their every move. But even by the standards of modern politics, Dan Wolfe and other members of the #bornfreecrew watched Mr. Weiner’s account with particular ferocity, and a sharp focus on his interactions with women. In several instances the congressman dropped his online contact with women after they were identified by the crew, suggesting that Mr. Weiner might have been aware of its actions. There were at least two female high school students among the 191 people Mr. Weiner followed. There is no evidence that he engaged in private discussions with them, and he has said that to his knowledge he has not had any online sexual communications with under-age women. Mr. Wolfe, whose account vanished from Twitter last Friday, has been one of the more mysterious characters in the congressman’s saga, refusing to reveal his real name even to the other members of the #bornfreecrew. He joined Twitter on Jan. 6 and began posting multiple messages criticizing both Mr. Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.On April 14, for example, Mr. Wolfe tweeted, “Weiner’s new follow is a high school girl. LMAO! Freak!” Michael Stack, 39, of New Jersey, who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “Republican who believes in the principles that made this country great,” said he befriended Mr. Wolfe on Twitter (they never met in person or spoke on the phone). “Soon, Dan told me Weiner was following a bunch of girls,” Mr. Stack said. “I thought it was kind of weird.” Mr. Stack said that Mr. Wolfe had told him in a private message that Mr. Weiner had been following a porn star who was later identified as Ginger Lee. “He tweeted about it and then the porn star was gone,” Mr. Stack said. “He was paying attention,” he said, referring to Mr. Weiner. On May 5, Mr. Wolfe told him that he had a friend who knew Matt Drudge who had said that a scandal involving a member of Congress was coming soon. The same day that Meagan Broussard, 26, of Texas, said that she had received an e-mail from Mr. Weiner with a photo she had asked him to take, while holding up a white piece of paper that said “me.”Throughout May, Mr. Wolfe and other members contacted other young women Mr. Weiner was following, including a 16-year-old from California who started a campaign on Twitter to get the congressman to be her prom date. The next day, Mr. Stack, posting on Twitter, sent her a message saying in part, “if you’re a minor and he’s following you, well, seems a little creepy if not in ny,” copying @RepWeiner on the post. The next day, on May 18, the girl posted: “Well @RepWeiner unfollowed me.” Michael Madden, 52, a retired Philadelphia firefighter and member of the group, said he had joined Mr. Wolfe in warning young women about Mr. Weiner. “It seems now that Dan may have had an agenda all along,” he said. “We don’t know yet what it is. But he never said to me, ‘I’m going to get this guy.’ What he said is that it was not right.”Hmmmmm.......A tweet to far?Read the full story here.
- "CHANGE" ! Many of us won’t be able to retire until our 80s.(MarketWatch).You’ll probably have to work much longer than you anticipated.BOSTON -- We all think it’s a panacea. If you don’t have enough money saved for retirement, you’ve got a few ways to close the gap between what you have and what you need in your nest egg: Save more, invest more aggressively, and/or work longer. Well, it turns out that working longer is indeed an option, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute latest study. The only problem is that the latest research shows that you’ll have to work much longer than you anticipated. In fact, many Americans will have to keep on working well into their 70s and 80s to afford retirement, according to the study, titled “The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy.”What’s more, it’s even worse for low-income workers, according Jack VanDerhei, one of the co-authors of the study. Those who earned (on average over the course of their careers) less than $11,700 per year, the lowest income quartile, would need to defer retirement till age 84 before 90% of those households would have just a 50% chance of affording retirement.
Those who earned between $11,700 and $31,200 will need to work till age 76 to have a 50% chance of covering basic expenses in retirement.
Those who earned between $31,200 and $72,500 will need to work to age 72 to have a 50% chance and those who earned more than $72,500, those in the highest income quartile, catch a break; they get stop working at age 65 to have a 50/50 chance of funding their retirement.So what can be done to make sure you have enough income in retirement? Well, the sad truth is that not working is no longer an option and working past age 65 is fast becoming a fact of life, at least for those in the lowest three income quartiles. One bright spot, according to John Nelson, co-author of ‘What Color is Your Parachute? For Retirement’ is that working works: “For those in the lower half of the income spectrum, delaying retirement from 65 to 69 has a profound effect,” he said. “It increases retirement income adequacy by 25% to 50%! That’s a powerful incentive.Hmmmm.......More "Change".Read the full story here.
- China ratings house says US defaulting: report.(Yahoo).A Chinese ratings house has accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt, state media said Friday, a day after Beijing urged Washington to put its fiscal house in order."In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting," Guan Jianzhong, president of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., the only Chinese agency that gives sovereign ratings, was quoted by the Global Times saying.Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies -- eroding the wealth of creditors including China, Guan said.Guan did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment.The US government will run out of room to spend more on August 2 unless Congress bumps up the borrowing limit beyond $14.29 trillion -- but Republicans are refusing to support such a move until a deficit cutting deal is reached.Ratings agency Fitch on Wednesday joined Moody's and Standard and Poor's to warn the United States could lose its first-class credit rating if it fails to raise its debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on loans.A downgrade could sharply raise US borrowing costs, worsening the country's already dire fiscal position, and send shock waves through the financial world, which has long considered US debt a benchmark among safe-haven investments.Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday urged the United States to adopt "effective measures to improve its fiscal situation".Dagong has made a name for itself by hitting out at its three Western rivals, saying they caused the financial crisis by failing to properly disclose risk.The Chinese agency, which is trying to build an international profile, has given the United States and several other nations lower marks than they received from the the big three.Hmmmmm....... Traduction:Yu-So-Phukt.Read the full story here.
- West Bank: Arabs burn Jewish holy books.(Ynet).Some 200 Palestinians armed with bats, iron chains raid illegal West Bank outpost, burn hut and tent including prayer corner. Arab municipal head: We decided to remove settlers from site.Some 200 Palestinians armed with bats and iron chains raided the illegal West Bank outpost of Gaon HaYarden Friday and burned Jewish holy books at the site, the settlers said.The Arab attackers clashed with Jewish youths at the outposts before torching a hut and a tent that included a prayer corner and holy books. Security forces rushed to the scene and broke up the violence.The Palestinians arrived at the outpost in dozens of vehicles and razed it. A leading member of the Jewish Hilltop Youth movement vowed to rebuild the outpost after the Shabbat."There were a few youths at the site when some 150 to 200 Palestinians carrying PLO flags and armed with bats and iron chains raided it," an outpost resident told Ynet. "We managed to escape unharmed." A short while later, clashes broke out between the settlers and the Palestinians, with both sides hurling stones and burning tires at each other. IDF troops at the site dispersed the crowds while sustaining stoning attacks. The area was declared a closed military zone and two settlers who defied the order were held for questioning and later released. Majed Fahim, the head of the Kfar Malek municipality told Ynet that the outpost in question was set up illegally on Arab land."Today we decided to come out after Friday prayers and reach our land, where this outpost was established, in order to remove the settlers from the site," he said. Some 200 Palestinians arrived in the area and clashed with settlers at the outpost, Fahim said, adding that one Palestinian was wounded. At one point, the settlers fled the site, he said. Read the full story here.
- Who you gonna call? "Mosque Buster"UK . Free lawyer to oppose Mosque building.(TundraTabloid).Now this is service. A British barrister has offered his services free of charge to anyone who wishes to fight plans for construction of a Mosque in England. All he needs, is for anyone who wishes his services, to contact their local planning council and see if there is a request to build a new mosque in that area, and then contact him and let him know.If he gets the request early enough to act on it, he will do so on his own dime and with a fresh and important approach. This is an exciting development I think. Someone actually willing to risk their professional careers to fight for the continuation of secular liberal Western democracy. These are the kinds of guts we need a great deal more of. If anyone reading this is aware of any plans to construct a Mosque in England, please contact Gavin right away. If anyone can afford to help him out with a few dollars to help him cover his expenses for these kinds of fights I am guessing that would be accepted gratefully as well.I will be following this man’s efforts closely. I have a suspicion there are great headlines in his future.Read the full story here , video - here.
- SEIU Forming Republican PAC To Rescue GOP From “Grip Of Extremists”.(SacBee) — One of California’s largest labor unions today advanced a plan intended to result in the election of more moderate Republicans.By creating a Republican political action committee, Service Employees International Union California officials say they hope to help send people from right-leaning areas to Sacramento who put practical solutions in front of strict conservative thinking.“Our legislators are harangued by radio talk show hosts like John and Ken and D.C. ideologues like Grover Norquist,” said Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721 in Southern California.The union says 87,000 of its 700,000 members are registered Republicans. With redrawn legislative boundaries looming and the creation of the top-two primary system, SEIU’s new leader Dave Kieffer has said this is the perfect time to start helping candidates to extricate themselves from the grip of party extremists. SEIU is expected to launch its second ad campaign this weekend in the districts of current GOP legislators its officials believe could support Brown’s tax package.“I feel the far right, the tea party, is hijacking my party, and it’s saddening,” said John Orr, a parking officer at California State University, Fullerton. “I hope through this PAC, this effort and the open primary that moderates can regain their voice.”Hmmmmm......We must save "Dass Vaterland" from the strickt conservatives?Read the full story here.
- Hamas Reports Record Turnout For Its Children’s Terror Training Camps(INN).Hamas is reporting record turnouts for its summer camps for children in 2011.The ‘summer camps,’ combining Islamic indoctrination, paramilitary training, and social activities are set to begin again this year as United Nation’s summer camps, considered competition by Hamas, are being openly denigrated by jihadists.Children and adolescents are an important target demographic for Hamas, from which its future army of terrorists will be recruited. Summer camps are an important means for indoctrinating Gaza’s youth with Hamas’ jihadist ideology.In 2010 Hamas ran camps for an estimated 100,000 campers, a number similar to 2009. The Islamic Jihad terror group ran 51 camps with 10,000 participating boys and girls.Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan reported the objectives of the camps were to raise a generation of children with ‘genuine Islamic values.’“Children working for the interests of their homeland and to educate them to the culture of the Islamic faith so they will remember their goals, including Jerusalem and the prisoners,” Radwan said. In addition to indoctrination, Hamas terrorists give children paramilitary training. Banners are hung on the walls with slogans extolling jihad and ‘death for the sake of Allah.’Hmmmm.....Now funded by the Obama regime jihad branch?Read the full story here.
- Turkey -Muslim 'man' aks 8-month pregnant partner to have an abortion, shoots her when she refused ,then commits suicide.(TodaysZaman).A married man allegedly shot his pregnant partner and then shot and killed himself on Thursday evening in İstanbul's Fatih district.Mahmut Y. (55) and Neriman İbiş (25) were married according to religious law, which is not recognized by the Turkish state, and also had other children together. Mahmut Y. was also legally married to another woman.When an argument broke out between the two, after which Mahmut Y. had asked İbiş to have an illegal abortion, Mahmut Y. took his gun and fired three shots at İbiş, one of which was directed at her stomach.The woman was seriously injured and taken to the Haseki Education and Research Hospital by ambulance, and then transferred to the Bağcılar Education and Research Hospital, where she remains in stable condition.Following the incident, Mahmut Y. went to his older brother's coffeehouse, locked himself in a room, and shot himself in the head. Mahmut Y. was taken to the Medical Park Private Hospital, where he was unable to be resuscitated.Hmmmm.....Way to easy for 'people' like this.Keep Turkey out of the European Union.Read the full story here.
- 'Horribly Humiliating'.Egyptian Woman Tells of 'Virginity Tests'.(Spiegel).Before she describes how uniformed soldiers hit and kicked her and the other young women, ordering them to take off their clothes, lie on their backs in front of gawking soldiers and spread their legs so a man in a white lab coat could test their virginity -- before this, the hairdresser quickly lights a cigarette and pulls the smoke deeply into her lungs.
Salwa Husseini Gouda is a petite woman with gently curved lips and almond-shaped eyes. The 20-year-old looks tired this afternoon, wearing jeans and a headscarf together with a tight-fitting top. She smokes one cigarette after another. The air is heavy with shimmering heat and the Egyptian capital is dusty and loud, as always."I have no idea why they arrested me, of all people, in Tahrir Square," she says. "I was standing in front of a tank at that particular moment, maybe that's why." She attempts a grin. "Anyway, people should watch out for me -- I'm a dangerous criminal!"According to eyewitness reports, men stormed Tahrir Square, center of the Egyptian revolution, on the afternoon of March 9 and attacked demonstrators seemingly at random. They weren't wearing uniforms. "They looked like thugs," Husseini Gouda says. "They called me a whore and hit me in the face." She says she was shocked when the group dragged her and around 20 other women into the Egyptian Museum and handed them over to the military. "I couldn't believe our army was behind this attack," Gouda continues. "But then they took us to a military prison, and from then on, it only got worse."When Husseini Gouda arrived at the military prison on March 9, she says she was led to a small room together with two other women. There they were forced to undress and allow their clothing to be searched. Then they noticed a soldier standing outside the open window, photographing them naked. "I was afraid they would use the pictures to make us look like prostitutes," Husseini Gouda says.That night, the women were locked in a cell and given water and bread that stank of kerosene. The next day, they saw a stretcher in the hallway outside their cell. Here, an officer announced, a doctor would inspect the unmarried women for virginity. "We couldn't believe it," Husseini Gouda says. "We asked if it could at least be a female doctor, but he said no. One girl who tried to resist was plied with electroshocks."
Several human rights organizations are investigating the events that occurred at the military prison in Heikstep northeast of Cairo between March 9 and 13. Amnesty International has called on Egyptian authorities to "stop the shocking and degrading treatment of women protesters." The European Parliament denounced the "forced virginity tests" as torture.Psychiatrist Mona Hamed, from El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, has documented statements from several of the women who were arrested on March 9, including Husseini Gouda. Hamed's conclusion: "What's new is that it isn't the police or the secret police behind this, but the military." The virginity tests, she says, send a message to the people, because the army wants to control citizens' freedom of movement. If a woman at a demonstration were beaten or arrested, Hamed says, her family would perhaps be able to accept that -- but not the charge that their daughter is a prostitute. "That's an unthinkable humiliation for the woman and her family," she explains.Husseini Gouda didn't resist. The man in the white lab coat reached between her legs, and it didn't take long. He permitted her to cover herself with a blanket, to shield her from the gaze of the soldiers loitering in the hallway. "It was horribly humiliating," Husseini Gouda says. After the procedure, she continues, all of the women had to sign a form that stated whether they were virgins or not. But after the doctor confirmed that her hymen was intact, the soldiers confronted her with new accusations, Husseini Gouda says. Two days later, she was sentenced by a military court to one year of probation for the alleged possession of a weapon, property damage and violating curfew."The situation for women has deteriorated continually, these last few decades," says Hala Mustafa, 52, a political scientist and the editor-in-chief of the magazine al-Dimuqratiya. "On the one hand, this is because of political Islamization by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. On the other, it's because the regime too has done everything in its power to keep the people conservative, so they don't rebel."Mustafa, with her light brown, layered haircut, pantsuit and white gold jewelry, is one of the country's liberal, progressive thinkers. She just canceled a trip abroad because she couldn't possibly miss what's happening in Egypt now, she says. For a moment, a smile appears on her face, the same smile worn by many Egyptians these days, a mixture of amazement and pride. It's too soon to make predictions, Mustafa says, but she's not particularly optimistic: "The old regime is still functioning."
Journalist Rasha Azeb, 28, has experienced the revolution firsthand from the beginning. She too was arrested on March 9 and taken to the Egyptian Museum. "We kept protesting after February 11, because we wanted to get rid of the whole regime, not just Mubarak," Azeb explains. She wears a ribbon around her neck from which a bullet casing dangles. You can say what you want now about Mubarak and the members of his government who have been arrested, Azeb says, "but not about the military council."Azeb is sitting on a rooftop terrace in downtown Cairo, a sand-colored sea of houses below her stretching to the horizon. "The soldiers bound my hands and hit me," she says. "They said that the violence was increasing because of journalists. After four hours, they let me and my colleagues go." Azeb says she saw other women being hit and abused with electroshocks in the museum. She didn't find out until days later what happened to them afterward. It's intolerable, she says, and yet this isn't the moment to talk about sexual discrimination. "Right now it's about the Egyptian people's rights," Azeb believes, "not about men or women."Still, the women among the freedom fighters in Tahrir Square also impressed the world precisely because they disproved a cliché. The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report, which evaluates gender equality in 134 countries, ranked Egypt 125th in 2010. Forty-two percent of Egyptian women can't read or write and most don't have a profession. Female genital mutilation has been outlawed since 1997, but is still widespread. Women out in the capital without a male chaperone must expect to be sexually harassed.Last Tuesday, nearly three months after Husseini Gouda and the others were arrested, an army general finally issued a statement. "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general told American news channel CNN. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with mail protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)." The virginity tests, he said, were carried out so that the women couldn't claim afterward to have been harassed or raped in prison: "We wanted to show that they were not virgins in the first place."Amnesty International called this reaction "an utterly perverse justification of a degrading form of abuse" and called on Egyptian authorities to hold the parties responsible accountable. The army's reply came promptly: The women's allegations, an army spokesperson announced, are unfounded.Hmmmm.....The 'people' the Obama regime supports.Read the full story here.
- VIVA LA CONSTITUTION !!!(AmnonAndjonathan).At the first glance, after this picture popped up on my screen, I burst laughing.I thought, what a bad luck. A peaceful bunch of people are walking down the street, suddenly they hear their Muezzin from the near by Mosque calling for prayer, and instinctively they turn towards Mecca, fall on their knees and start praying.Bad Luck... Shit happens... it could have happened to anybody... etc.Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely different.Germany Women’s World Cup Team Pose For Playboy.The players decided it was the best way to drum up interest for the Women’s World Cup, which starts in the country later this month.Bayern Munich players Annika Doppler, 19, Ivana Rudelic, 19, and Julia Simic, 22, as well as Gütersloh’s Kristina Gessat and Wolfsburg’s Selina Wagner left little to the imagination as they frolicked by a lakeside.The German team is favourite to win the competition – and are clearly training hard as none of the current squad took part in the shoot.German Playboy exec Nina van Splunter said: “Everyone knows how popular football is in Germany and, just like their male counterparts, the female team are very successful.Hmmmm......No complaignts of headresses in the way off FIFA's rules?Read the full story here.Video here.
"Al" the debt collector gives another explosive interview about his findings regarding Obama's shady past and his Chicago property tax ordeal. If you recall "Al" first reported that Obama's Social Security number reserved for Connecticut applicants is also tied to an Alias of Harrison J Bounel. "Al" now reports that when he searches the databases some of the prior hits are not showing up and believes the databases are being scrubbed.
"Al" also reports he discovered more properties and SS numbers connected to Barack and Michelle Obama. "Al" reports that Michelle Obama is tied to a Social Security number belonging to a 91 year-old Texas woman named "?Guadalupe Megndenez?". Many more unbelievable details in the interview.
- Syria Live Blog - June 10. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 10. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 10. Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan today 4.6 ! 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 49- On 09.06.2011 at 14:05 GMT+2
Dutch authorities recalled red beet sprouts from three countries Thursday after samples were found to be contaminated with a strain of E. coli bacteria that was apparently less dangerous than the one causing Europe's deadly E. coli crisis. The Dutch Food Safety Authority said laboratories were still trying to identify the Dutch strain, but there have been no immediate reports of serious illness from it. But the agency said it was definitely not the same E. coli strain that has killed 27 people, sickened 2,900 others and left hundreds with serious complications, most of them in Germany. The cause of that outbreak, which began May 2, has so far eluded German authorities.
Only one grower, a company called Hamu, was found with contaminated beets, and other produce grown on its farms were cleared of suspicion, said Esther Filon, a spokeswoman for the Dutch regulation agency. "It's not the same as in Germany. You can become ill, but as far as we know at this moment, it is not lethal," she told the Associated Press. She said the authorities were trying to trace all shipments from the grower. The agency said Hamu, based in the town of Kerkdriel 44 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of Amsterdam, had exported beet sprouts to Belgium as well as selling them on the Dutch and German markets. There are hundreds of E. coli bacteria strains in nature, but only a few are deadly to humans and the bacteria is more commonly known as a source of food poisoning or severe stomach problems.
People naturally carry several harmless E. coli strains in their intestines and the bacteria is also widely found in cows, sheep and other mammals. Strains which are harmless to animals can sometimes be lethal for humans. Experts worry about E. coli's constant evolution, which may result in dangerous mutations for humans. The European Union informed the Netherlands late Wednesday that contaminated beet sprouts had been found in Germany, and tests in the Netherlands confirmed it. In Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute said one more person died and 160 more were sickened in the E. coli outbreak but the rate of new illnesses was declining. It said 2,808 people have been sickened in Germany, 722 of whom are suffering from a serious complication that can cause kidney failure. The World Health Organization says 97 others have fallen sick in 12 other European countries, as well as three in the United States. The Koch institute says new cases being reported have been dropping for several days but cautioned that could be due to the fact that consumers are following the advice of health officials and staying away from cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and vegetable sprouts — all of which are being investigated as possible carriers of the E. coli.
European Union farmers say that since the warning went out, they have been losing up to €417 million ($611 million) a week as ripe produce rots in fields and warehouses. On Wednesday, the EU said it would offer farmers compensation of up to €210 million ($306 million) for the E. coli losses, though a final decision will not be made until next week. Russia and Saudi Arabia have issued a blanket ban on vegetable imports from the European Union. Spanish farmers have been among the hardest hit, after authorities in Hamburg issued an early warning that Spanish cucumbers could be the source of the E. coli. Further tests showed that while the Spanish vegetables did carry E. coli, it was not the strain behind the outbreak. In Berlin on Thursday, Spain's Secretary of State for European Affairs, Diego Lopez Garrido said the compensation being offered so far by the EU is not enough. He also said both Spain and Germany believe the Russian ban on EU vegetables is "inappropriate." Russia is a huge market for EU produce
Russia banned imports of EU-produced vegetables last week, in a measure condemned by Brussels as "disproportionate." Russia is the 27-nation bloc's largest market for its vegetables. Discussions on the ban are expected to dominate a biannual EU-Russia summit in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod later on Thursday. EU Moscow envoy Fernando Valenzuela said last week the ban went against the rules of the World Trade Organization, which Russia has been pressing hard to join. But Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would not "poison" its people for the sake of the WTO.Source.
- E. Coli Mystery Deepens as Deadly Strain Found on Cucumber.(Spiegel).Confusion over the source of the deadly E. coli bacteria grew on Wednesday when health officials detected it on a discarded cucumber in the eastern city of Magdeburg. Meanwhile, German authorities said they had found two new clues pointing to a sprout farm that may have been a source of the germ.Investigators in Germany on Wednesday discovered the deadly EHEC strain of E. coli on food for the first time since the outbreak -- on a piece of cucumber retrieved from the garbage of a family infected with the bacterium. A spokesman for the Health Ministry of the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt said the pathogen was the same as the one that has caused 26 deaths and infected more than 2,600 people, most of them in northern Germany, since early May. However, as the cucumber had been in the garbage bin for two weeks, it was impossible to determine conclusively where the bacteria came from and how it got into the trash, the spokesman said. He added that a member of the family of three had mentioned eating cucumbers before falling ill. The family had not visited northern Germany.Earlier on Wednesday, German authorities had said there were growing indications that bean sprouts delivered by an organic farm in Bienenbüttel first identified as a possible source on Sunday may indeed be a cause of the outbreak.Health officials found two fresh clues that point to the farm near the town of Uelzen in northern Germany, the regional Consumer Protection Ministry of Lower Saxony said. Ministry spokesman Gert Hahne said a total of 18 people infected with EHEC, the deadly strain of the bacteria, around the northern port city of Cuxhaven ate sprouts from the farm in a company cafeteria. In addition, three female workers at the farm suffered from diarrhea in the first half of May, and one of them is known to have been contaminated with EHEC. Their work included packaging the sprouts. The ministry spokesman said it was possible that one of the women accidentally "fed the pathogen into the operations of the company." Or they might have been infected with EHEC at the farm. Reuters reported that a local doctor said a worker at the farm had become severely ill with E. coli and had part of her intestine removed. The 54-year-old woman developed bloody diarrhea followed by serious blood disorders. Anton Schafmayer, a doctor who operated on her, said she had eaten the sprouts. "It went very fast. Such a pace is very rare," he told Reuters. "The surgery probably saved her. We removed a large part of the lower intestine."The Lower Saxony ministry spokesman said that despite the additional clues pointing to the sprout farm, it was still possible that the nationwide epidemic stemmed from several sources. Four company canteens and three restaurants where people caught EHEC are now known to have been supplied by the Bienenbüttel farm -- infecting about 100 of the more than 2,600 EHEC patients in Germany. So far, no EHEC bacteria have been found at the farm.German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said the number of new infections had declined, but that there was no reason to sound the all clear. The death toll in Germany rose by one to 25 on Wednesday. One other patient has died in Sweden.There is cause for optimism "that we're over the worst," Bahr told a news conference after a meeting of health officials in Berlin on Wednesday. But he added: "Sadly we can't rule out that there will be further deaths."Consumers remain deeply cautious and are shunning a wide range of fruit and vegetables -- not just the sprouts, raw tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers mentioned by health officials as possible sources. Sales of strawberries, radishes, carrots and broccoli are down sharply. Tomato sales fell by almost 50 percent in the second half of May, with a 60 percent slump in lettuces, the Agricultural Market Information service said. Radishes and strawberries were down by a third.Hmmmm.....Remains the question where did the new strain come from?Read the full story here.
- "We The People" say NO WAY!US Senators oppose Israel return to 1967 lines.(Ynet). New resolution proposed by Senators Lieberman, Hatch calls for US opposition to any Israeli withdrawal to 1967 lines, deals blow to Obama peace talk efforts. US senators proposed a resolution on Thursday opposing any Israeli withdrawal to 1967 lines, dealing a symbolic blow to President Barack Obama's efforts to renew peace talks. "It is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967," read the text introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent.The resolution, which enjoys the support of some 30 other senators, including Democrats, says US policy aims to "support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders." Last month, President Barack Obama gave rare public voice to the long-standing US policy of supporting a Palestinian state based on the borders that preceded the Six Day War, with mutually agreed land swaps.His statement provoked a public scolding from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a subsequent White House visit. The Israeli leader also stressed the "indefensible" nature of the 1967 lines. "Boundaries that existed on June 4, 1967 placed Israel in a precarious military situation that threatened regional stability," Senator Hatch said in a statement. "This resolution reaffirms that it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining secure, recognized and defensible borders." Read the full story here.
- National Geographic exposes the secret world of the child bride.(DailyMail).Heartbreaking pictures of the girls as young as FIVE who are married off to middle-aged men.
‘Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him’: Tahani (in pink) was just six years old when she she married Majed, 25 (standing next to her). The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen.”Wide-eyed and haunted, the heartbreaking expressions on these young girls’ faces hint at an innocence cruelly snatched away.
They should be playing, learning and enjoying their childhood. But instead these youngsters, some as young as five, are being married off in secret weddings. It is estimated that every year this happens to ten to 12 million girls in the developing world.In India, the girls will typically be attached to boys four or five years older. But in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and other countries with even higher rates of marriage at an early age, the husbands may be young men, middle-aged widowers or even abductors who rape first and claim their victims as wives afterwards.In India girls may not legally marry before the age of 18 - but ceremonies involving girls in their teens may be overlooked. The younger daughters, some aged five, tend to be added on discreetly, their names kept off the invitations.In one case in Rajasthan where her teenage sisters were also being married, a five-year-old bride named Rajani fell asleep before her wedding ceremony began.
The medical consequences are also extremely serious and in some cases fatal.One doctor based in the Yemeni capital Sanaa listed some of the medical consequences of forcing girls into sex and childbirth before they are physically mature - ripped vaginal walls and internal ruptures called fistulas which can lead to life-long incontinence.Girls are often too young to understand the concept of reproduction. The doctor said: 'The nurses start by asking, "Do you know what's happening?" "Do you understand that this is a baby that has been growing inside of you?''Few are equipped with the information of how to care for themselves or their babies after childbirth leading to high infant mortality rates.The people who work full-time trying to prevent these illegal marriages, and to improve women's lives, know that it is a far from simple plan of rescuing girls.The pictures - and more - are in the June 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine.Read and see the full story here.
- Arsenal Found in Mexico Contains Guns From U.S. Probe.(Fox).An arsenal found in Mexico included at least five assault rifles that U.S authorities trace to a federal operation gone badly awry, according to government documents. The discovery appears to confirm for the first time fears cited by Republican lawmakers that a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation called Fast and Furious failed to stop guns from ending up with drug gangs in Mexico. The Fast and Furious program, run by the ATF's Phoenix office, monitored weapons purchases by suspected gun traffickers who were believed to be funneling weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Some lawmakers say ATF didn't have the means to track the guns and shouldn't have used such tactics. An ATF spokesman declined to comment, citing ongoing investigations, including one ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department's inspector general is conducting. Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, also declined to comment.Problems with Fast and Furious are emerging as one of the biggest controversies at the ATF since a lethal 1993 raid on the Waco, Texas, compound of a religious sect known as the Branch Davidians. Fast and Furious, which became public after ATF whistle-blowers contacted lawmakers earlier this year, is also now the subject of congressional probes. Mexican and U.S. officials say weapons trafficked mostly from U.S. border states are fueling the cartel wars that have killed more than 40,000 people in Mexico since 2006. The lawmakers claim the operation allowed suspected traffickers to buy more than 2,500 weapons in the U.S. and may have helped fuel the trafficking the ATF is supposed to try to prevent.Read the full story here.
- OPEC 1, USA 0.(BigPeace).Last year, the Obama Administration placed a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. After that ban was lifted, they left a permitorium in place so that American energy companies were still unable to return to work in the Gulf.The Obama Administration insisted that the rapid decline of oil production due to their anti-drilling policies would not affect the price of oil because we could just rely more on the dictators at OPEC to give us oil.Unfortunately, OPEC’s meeting shows why President Obama’s policies are so misguided. The cartel’s meeting apparently turned into a fiasco, not surprising to hear about a gathering of some of the world’s most hostile regimes. Despite growing global demand, the group decided that they will not raise oil production for the remainder of the year.In response, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following response:
“When will President Obama finally admit that he is directly causing a national, Washington-created disaster? Less than one year ago, the Obama Administration was telling the American people that their anti-drilling policies were no big deal – we can just get more oil from OPEC. Until this Administration reverses its senseless energy agenda, which is deliberately leading to higher energy prices, we can expect more of the same in the future from OPEC.“America is home to over 150 billion barrels of oil. There is only one thing preventing the American people from accessing these resources: the Obama Administration. Hopefully today will be a reality check for those in Washington who believe that American energy production can be replaced with a reliance on state-run energy companies in unstable region of the world.”Hmmmm.....If he really wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- Good luck charging your Chevy Volts, losers: EPA shutting down five coal plants for reasons that can best be described as... bulls***.(DougRoss).It's going to be hard to charge your golf cart-sized electric auto what with those rolling brownouts and all.Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations.The company’s dramatic plan to comply with the regulations could give Republicans and moderate Democrats ammunition in their ongoing fight against EPA's efforts to impose new regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants including mercury and arsenic...The agency also stressed that the regulations are essential for protecting public health... “These reasonable steps taken under the Clean Air Act will reduce harmful air pollution, including mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollution, and as a result protect our families, particularly children,” EPA said in a statement.Mercury? Mercury? Mercury???These are the same crackpots who have outlawed conventional lighting and mandated "Compact Fluorescent Lamps" (or CFLs). These are the curly bulbs, each of which contains 4 to 5 milligrams of mercury, which is a sufficient amount to warrant special handling and disposal methods in the event you break one. Which you most assuredly will.Consider this reason #3,405 to completely de-fund the EPA, which is nothing less than a Marxist front group.The costs of complying with these specious EPA regulations will spike electricity prices by between 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs. Well done, EPA.Hmmmm......Dictatorship or Democracy.Read the full story here.
- Here Come Obama’s ‘Necessarily Skyrocketing’ Electricity Rates.(Heritage).President Obama’s infamous words—saying electricity rates will “necessarily skyrocket” under his cap-and-trade program that would impose a costly energy tax on American consumers—are set to come true. Just ask the market.Although cap and trade is not law, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) backdoor train wreck of energy regulations is forcing utilities to file for significant rate hikes in years to come because of the upgrades they will have to make or the complete shutdown of older plants.Take Louisville Gas and Electric (LGE), for instance. In what’s labeled as an “environmental cost recovery,” the utility says ratepayers will see their electric bills increase 19.2 percent by 2016. Why? LG and E spokesman Chip Keeling answered,
The EPA is forcing utilities to do this. We don’t have a choice. It’s not a question of are we going to meet them. The question is when and how and how much money. We have to meet these regulations because the EPA is mandating it for us to do it. They’re forcing us to do it.LG and E isn’t the only one building cost increases into its projects as a result of EPA regulations. PJM is a regional transmission organization that manages the electric grid and coordinates the wholesale electricity market for 13 states and the District of Columbia. The organization conducts electricity capacity auctions for future years to meet anticipated demand, and it projects EPA regulations are going to increase capacity costs in the magnitude of $2 billion–$3 billion for a one-year period. PJM also “concluded that “60 to 80%” of the increase in generators bid costs in the May 2011 auction was due to environmental regulations.”As this American Legislative Exchange Council study shows, the EPA’s train wreck of energy regulations leaves a complicated and expensive mess of new requirements for U.S. power plants. A new analysis from the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) looked at just two of those regulations, the Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT). The study finds “Average U.S. retail electricity prices in 2016 would increase by about 12%, with regional increases as much as about 24%.”Hmmmmm........"Change".Read the full story here.
- Leon Panetta Obama’s CIA Director Linked to Communist Spies.(EmergingCorruption).New research from writers and researchers Trevor Loudon and Cliff Kincaid shows that Leon Panetta, the CIA director being considered on Thursday for the position of Secretary of Defense, had a previously undisclosed personal and friendly relationship with Hugh DeLacy, a prominent member of the Communist Party USA. DeLacy visited such countries as China and Nicaragua and was himself a personal contact of identified Soviet spies Solomon Adler and Frank Coe and accused spy John Stewart Service. Panetta spoke at DeLacy’s memorial service, directed a series of letters to him personally as “Dear Hugh,” and placed a tribute to him in the Congressional Record.Former Washington State Rep. DeLacy, named by Communist Party lawyer John Abt as a fellow member of the party, remained a communist operative until his death in 1986.One “Dear Hugh” letter from then-Rep. Panetta to DeLacy offered a summary of a report on U.S. military operations that Panetta said was “unavailable for distribution.” Panetta concludes the March 24, 1977, letter, “If there is anything I can do for you in the future, Hugh, please feel free to call on me.”The Panetta SecDef hearing is being held June 9 by the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. in open session in Room SD-G50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, with a closed session later in the day in Room SVC-217, the Office of Senate Security in the Capitol Visitor Center.Like DeLacy, Panetta shared a preference for communist regimes in Latin America, including the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. DeLacy had visited Nicaragua and had honored the Sandinistas, who were pawns of the Soviets and Cubans in Central America, while Panetta, as a member of Congress in 1983, strongly opposed President Reagan’s effort to undermine the Sandinista regime through CIA covert action. In addition, Panetta actively collaborated with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Washington, D.C. think tank that provided a cover for Chilean Marxist and Cuban agent Orlando Letelier to conduct communist political influence operations in the nation’s capital. Panetta, a member of Congress from 1977 to 1993, was a vocal opponent of Chile’s anti-communist government. In 1986, Panetta publicly endorsed protests against Reagan’s “illegal and extraordinarily vicious wars against the poor of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.”“Panetta’s bias in favor of revolutionary Marxist movements in Latin America helps explain why the CIA has been spectacularly unsuccessful in stopping the advance of Hugo Chavez and his minions south of the U.S. border,” Trevor Loudon and Cliff Kincaid said in a joint statement. “His only apparent success as CIA director has been the killing of Obama bin Laden, an impressive operation that has nevertheless backfired in the sense of sending a nuclear-armed Pakistan into the arms of Communist China.”“It is astounding that Panetta was confirmed as Obama’s CIA director without any of this being considered by the U.S. Senate,” Loudon and Kincaid went on. “But now that Panetta is set to move on to another critical national security post — Secretary of Defense — with new Senate hearings being held on Thursday, it is time to get all of this information out in the open. One of the most important matters that deserves scrutiny is Panetta’s apparent failure to be forthcoming about his personal relationship with DeLacy. It is time for the Senate to investigate this previously undisclosed relationship.”Loudon and Kincaid, writers and researchers on national security issues, have assembled critical information about Panetta from important sources that have apparently been overlooked by Senate investigators and even FBI agents who investigated Panetta’s background. Among these sources, Loudon reviewed the Hugh DeLacy papers at the University of Washington, while Kincaid examined hearings conducted on “Communist Political Subversion” by the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and “Un-American Activities in California” by the California Senate Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities.“When this information is examined in context,” Loudon and Kincaid stated, “it is clear that Panetta, whose nomination to be CIA director was considered mystifying even to those in the intelligence business, has been a key component of a network of left-wing activists and socialist organizations for over two decades. These individuals and groups include not only Hugh DeLacy and his communist associates but the communist-dominated Progressive Party, Democratic Socialists of America and the neo-Marxist New American Movement. Panetta, in short, was a player in the network that sponsored the political career of a young Barack Obama in Chicago. This helps explain why Panetta was picked, seemingly out of nowhere, for the CIA job.”Hmmmm......Dictatorship,Thugocracy or conspiracy ?Read the full story here.
- 10 Signs That Wall Street Is About To Go Into Panic Mode.(TheAmericanDream).Can you smell the fear? Right now world financial markets are visibly nervous and many are worried that Wall Street is about to go into panic mode. It really is eerie how 2011 is shaping up to be so similar to 2008. Major Wall Street banks are laying off workers in droves, oil prices are at very high levels, pessimism is permeating the financial markets, debt ratings are being downgraded all over the place and consumer confidence is stunningly low. Sadly, none of the fundamental things that were wrong with the financial markets back in 2008 have been fixed. In fact, many believe that Wall Street is even more vulnerable now. A ton of bad economic numbers have come pouring in lately and that has put investors in a really sour mood. All it would probably take is for one really significant "trigger event" to take place for Wall Street to go into full-fledged panic mode.Let us hope and pray that we do not see another Wall Street disaster this year. But right now things do not look promising. Japan has been absolutely devastated, Europe is struggling with the Greek debt crisis and the U.S. economy resembles a dead horse at this point. Meanwhile, world financial markets are getting more bad news on an almost daily basis. Many investors are holding their breath and hoping that a worst case scenario does not play out.The following are 10 signs that Wall Street is about to go into panic mode....
#1 According to The New York Post, nearly all of the major Wall Street banks are planning huge layoffs....Read the rest of the story here.
- President MENSA Hints At Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.(AceOfSpades).The strategic petroleum reserve, or SPR, currently holds about 727 million barrels of crude oil and was established to provide a short term buffer for supply disruptions caused by wars, natural disasters and the like.The newest natural disaster: falling poll numbers!President Obama’s recent hints at tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would be just the third major sale since the creation of the emergency oil reserve and the only time a drawdown didn’t involve a major domestic production disruption or a war.But, hey, 727 million barrels is a lot of oil, right? Ummm, no. We use around 18.5 million barrels a day. In keeping with Ace's no math for teh morons rule, that's about 40 days' worth.So what's the plan here, Barry? Oil prices are built around long-term supply and demand projections. 40 days of U.S. consumption won't move the needle. Oh, and that SPR ... it has to be refilled:
“Releasing oil from the SPR when there is not a disruption in supply would be nothing short of catastrophic,” said Brian Kelly of Brian Kelly Capital. “It would indicate panic within the administration over the state of the economy, but more importantly it would take the markets less than a second to realize the US will need to fill up the tanks again.”“Oil would soar,” added Kelly.Read the full story here.
- GOP Rep. Peter King Announces Second Round Of Congressional Hearings On Radical Islam In America.(Breitbart) — A key US House of Representatives committee next week will hold the second in a controversial series of hearings on Muslim radicalization in the United States, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday.House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican whose first session on the issue in March drew angry charges he was carrying out a religiously-based witch hunt, said the new hearing would take place June 15.“At this hearing, we will look specifically at the extent of the dangerous problem of radicalization in US prisons,” King said in a statement.“We have seen cases in which inmates have been radicalized at the hands of already locked-up terrorists or by extremist imam chaplains.“We will focus on a number of the serious cases in which radicalized current and former inmates have planned and launched attacks or attempted to join overseas Islamic terrorist organizations.”King has said Muslim leaders and mosque imams are doing too little to stop the radicalization of young Americans and are not cooperating with law enforcement.Read the full story here.
- Post A Picture That 'Causes Emotional Distress' And You Could Face Jailtime In Tennessee.(TechDirt).from the outlawing-jerks? dept.Over the last few years, we've seen a troubling trend in various state laws which attempt to come up with ways to outlaw being a jerk online. Many of these are based on politicians and/or the public taking an emotional reaction to something bad happening after some does something online that angered someone else. Of course, while it would be nice if jerks would go away or jerky behavior would cease, that's just not realistic. The real issue is: how can it be constitutional to outlaw being a jerk? In many cases it raises serious First Amendment issues, among other things. The latest to jump into this game is the state of Tennessee, which apparently decided that just throwing people in jail for sharing music subscription passwords wasn't enough: now they want to put people in jail for "causing emotional distress" to others.The specific law outlaws posting a photo online that causes "emotional distress" to someone and has no "legitimate purpose." While the law does state that there needs to be "malicious intent," it also includes a massive loophole, in that it says that you can still be liable if the person "reasonably should know" that the actions would "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress." Eugene Volokh notes all sorts of problems with this:
- If you’re posting a picture of someone in an embarrassing situation — not at all limited to, say, sexually themed pictures or illegally taken pictures — you’re likely a criminal unless the prosecutor, judge, or jury concludes that you had a “legitimate purpose.”
- Likewise, if you post an image intended to distress some religious, political, ethnic, racial, etc. group, you too can be sent to jail if governments decisionmaker thinks your purpose wasn’t “legitimate.” Nothing in the law requires that the picture be of the “victim,” only that it be distressing to the “victim.”
- The same is true even if you didn’t intend to distress those people, but reasonably should have known that the material — say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group — would “cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.”
- And of course the same would apply if a newspaper or TV station posts embarrassing pictures or blasphemous images on its site.
Honestly, any time you have a law where the liability is based on how some other person feels, you've got a pretty serious problem. You can criminalize actions, but making someone a criminal because someone else feels "emotional distress" seems like a huge stretch.Hmmmm......I feel emotionally distressed when i see certain politicians.Read the full story here.
- The Economist responds to row with Erdoğan, says he may lose credibility.(TodaysZaman).The Economist, which has been under fire by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over a recent editorial column that called on Turkish voters to cast their votes for the main opposition party in Sunday's elections, said in another article on Thursday that Erdoğan's accusations of the magazine being part of a “global gang” are unlikely to add to his credibility in the West.“In the past week, this newspaper has been a target for daring to suggest in our June 4th issue that Turks should vote for the [Republican People's Party] CHP to deny the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AK party the two-thirds majority it needs unilaterally to rewrite the constitution. At successive rallies Mr. Erdoğan has accused The Economist of acting in concert with ‘a global gang' and taking orders from Israel. This may win him votes at home, but it will hardly add to his credibility in the West,” the article, titled “Turkey's bitter election: On the last lap,” said.Hmmmm.....Welcome to Turkey.....Iranian style.Read the full story here.
- Egypt - Nuclear reactor leak cover up?The Anshas nuclear reactor, located on the outskirts of Cairo, has leaked ten cubic meters of radioactive water for the second time in a year, according to Samer Mekheimar, the former director of the Nuclear Research Center’s atomic reactions department. Mekheimar submitted a note to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, saying the leakage took place on 25 May as a result of operating the reactor without taking into account safety precautions. He also said the Atomic Energy Agency kept the incident secret and threatened to fire the staff if they talked about it. “The fact that the reactor was by mere chance not operated the next day saved the area from environmental disaster,” he wrote. “All ministries were changed after the revolution, except the Ministry of Electricity and Energy,” he added. “It still kept the same minister and his deputies from the dissolved ruling party.” Meanwhile, sources at the Nuclear Safety Authority said they were denied entry to the reactor to conduct an inspection. Director of the Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed al-Kolaly, said that levels of radiation inside the reactor are normal, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has praised the reactor. Read the full story here.
- Obama Welcomes Thieving African Dictator to White House.(ABCNews).The family that has ruled the African nation of Gabon for decades has been accused of taking bribes, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars, and presiding over a system rife with corruption, but that hasn’t stopped President Obama from inviting President Ali Bongo of Gabon to the White House Thursday.White House press secretary Jay Carney conceded to ABC News Wednesday that President Bongo has a “less than sterling” record, but said that it was “very important” for President Obama to grant Bongo the coveted Oval Office meeting anyway.“First of all, the president of Gabon is making reform efforts, which we support,” said Carney. “Secondly . . . Gabon has been an important partner in some of the issues that are very important to American national security.”Jack Blum, a United Nations consultant and expert on offshore banking, said that the invitation sends a disturbing message. Blum estimates that in years past the Bongo family and its cronies have “siphon[ed] off 25 percent of the gross domestic product of the country. And it’s made them incredibly rich.”“There’s absolutely no shame,” said Blum. “I would say that the people who are running the country are guilty of grand theft nation.”Hmmm....A man is known by the 'friends' he keeps , they might exchange tips how to 'slim down' the tax payer?Read the full story here.
- Afghan Women Facing Death Threats For Playing Soccer, CNN Fails To Mention Islamic Fundamentalism As The Reason…Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — It is rare that you see a football match interrupted by a military helicopter landing. But that is what the Afghan women’s football team, a group of remarkably hardened and brave soccer enthusiasts, regularly face.That’s after the death threats, and parental disapproval and the ostracizing. You see to many Afghans, in this conservative society, women just aren’t meant to play sports at all.Khalida Popal, their captain, has received threatening text messages from those who say she must stop shaming her society. She’s even persevered in the face of her family telling her to stop playing for her own safety.“I love football and football is everything for me and when I come and feel the football I forget everything and I become very happy when I see my team”, she said.Now her team has a real problem on their hands: They have nowhere to practice.For the past few months, they were allowed into the main stadium in Kabul. It’s where the Taliban used to publicly execute people — but now it’s covered in real grass.Not that the girls got used to it: They were relegated to a patch of concrete down at one end.But even that’s now out of bounds — local officials telling them they can’t use the space any more.So we join them in a strange new world. NATO has taken pity on them and loaned them a small patch of grass just inside the outer walls of its main headquarters in Kabul.Hmmm......No word on the role of the 'misunderstanders of Islam'.Read the full story here.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
- Syria Live Blog - June 09. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 09. Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 09 . 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 47- Source.
- Video - HDN exclusive: Hospital footage shows injured protesters in Syria.(HurriyetDaily).WARNING: This footage contains graphic content that might not be suitable for children or sensitive people.This video was obtained by the Hürriyet Daily News from a Syrian who took refuge in Turkey, escaping from the turmoil in the neighboring country. The Daily News was unable to verify the authenticity of the video.Read the full story here.
- Obama regime making a mockery out of Congress?(BigPeace).Obama Administration Shrouding Our Role In Libya.Yesterday, NATO aircraft pounded the Libyan capital Tripoli in what has been reported to have been the heaviest bombing of Tripoli since the initiation of western airstrikes in March. Reuters reported that the city was struck “several times an hour” as opposed to “at most a few times a day” in the past. Already over the weekend, NATO announced that it was carrying out “intensive and sustained” strikes on Tripoli. Were American aircraft involved in the assault?According to a report in the French daily Libération, France and Great Britain have each been carrying out 25% of the “offensive” flight missions in the NATO bombing campaign. Who is carrying out the remaining 50%? Only a handful of other NATO countries are known to be participating in the air campaign and none of them have anything like the military capacity of the United States. It is hard to imagine that NATO could undertake “intensive and sustained” strikes on Tripoli without American involvement.Already on April 13 – this is to say two weeks after the so-called “handover” of the Libya mission to NATO – the Pentagon quietly admitted that American aircraft were still attacking Libyan targets. Overall, the US was reported to be assuming some 35% of flight missions at the time, including reconnaissance and refueling missions. This means that US forces minimally constituted the logistical backbone of the air campaign.President Obama has refused to comply with the War Powers Act and seek congressional authorization for the Libyan campaign. The administration has attempted to justify this stance by claiming that American forces are merely serving a limited “support” role. Should not the American media and members of congress be demanding to know in just what this “support” consists?Hmmm......Dictatorship or Democracy...last chance in 2012!Read the full story here.
- Related - Time Running Out in Libya?(Cato).By John Samples.Even defenders of broad presidential prerogatives are starting to conclude that Obama’s war in Libya violates the original legal justification for it offered by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the Department of Justice.Briefly put, the OLC said the Libyan war was not a war because the operation would be limited as to means, objectives, and duration. Thus, the OLC argued, neither the Constitution nor the War Powers Resolution constrained the president’s prerogatives.The objective has changed from protecting civilians to regime change. The war itself has gone on now for as long as the unauthorized war in Kosovo in 1999. Jack Goldsmith concludes: “as the days drag on, and as our deep involvement persists, it becomes harder and harder to represent that this mission is limited in nature, duration, and scope.”Hmmmm.......Dictatorship or democracy?Read the full story here.
- Hallelujah the 'Messiah' will speak!White House says it will answer Congress on Libya.(Msnbc).The White House now says it will respond to detailed questions on the U.S. mission in Libya within a two-week deadline set by the House in a resolution approved last week.Aides to President Barack Obama had previously brushed off the non-binding resolution, calling it unhelpful and unnecessary. The White House suggested earlier this week it had no plans to formally respond to the questions posed in the measure because officials were already providing details in dozens of briefings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.While officials maintain that those briefings are sufficient, the White House now says it will also respond specifically to the questions in the resolution, which was sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner."We will answer the questions in that resolution within the time frame that he specifies," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.The deadline for providing answers on the operation's objective, its costs and its impact on the nation's two other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is June 17.Carney said the White House decision to directly respond to the House resolution is "in the spirit that we have answered questions that members have had in the past." He would not say how the White House would go about providing its response.The House resolution calls on the president to send Congress a detailed written report with answers to more than 20 questions. The resolution also chastised Obama for failing to provide a "compelling rationale" for the Libyan mission. Forty-five Democrats joined the Republican majority in passing the measure.Hmmmm.....Don't be all excited, he'll make again a mockery out of Congress,frankly speaking they deserve it for their lack of 'guts'.Read the full story here.
- Pentagon: Cost Of Obama’s Time-Limited, Scope-Limited, Kinetic Military Action In Libya Soars To $750 Million.(WZ).US military operations in Libya are on course to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Pentagon estimated, according to figures obtained by the Financial Times.Robert Gates, the outgoing secretary of defence, said last month that the Pentagon expected to spend “somewhere in the ball park of $750m” in the 2011 fiscal year as part of efforts to protect the Libyan people.But according to a Pentagon memo which includes a detailed update on the progress and pace of operations, by mid-May US operations in Libya had cost $664m, a figure confirmed by the Department of Defence.The document, entitled the “United States Contribution to Operation Unified Protector’’, adds that US costs are running at a rate of about $2m a day or $60m a month. The memo has been circulating on Capitol Hill since last week. The DoD declined to comment on the increased costs of the operation.Hmmmm......Costly to stand with your Muslim Brothers,i'm sure Al-Qaida will refund the US in Natura.Read the full story here.
- Are these people for real?Video - Napolitano: Screening Muslim Males Under 35, Not Good Common Sense.(BarracudaBrigade).Hmmmm.....Yup statistics show the average terrorist is an middle aged Italian decent woman.Read and see the full story here.
- Russia - Muslim priests to give spiritual guidance to servicemen.(RT).Muslim muftis will soon be sent to the Russian Army for spiritual guidance of Muslim servicemen, according to Russia’s Supreme Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin. Currently, only Orthodox priests are present among Army staff.In an interview to the Echo of Moscow radio station, the Supreme Mufti said that the Russian Muslim University has launched a special course for priests who will work in the Army.Soon, around a dozen Muslim priests will start their jobs in various military units. But this is only the beginning as more will follow. The work in the Army requires some special skills so this category of clergy should have specific training, Tadzhuddin explained.“We think that retired officers could take special-purpose courses in the Russian Muslim University,” he said. “We should send to the Army those people who understand its specifics. At the same time, they should be able to make their spiritual contribution.”He added that heads of regional spiritual centers have already started attracting people.Talgat Tadzhuddin also said that those priests and their activities will be controlled by Russia’s Interconfessional Council. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s public relations, said on Wednesday that it is a common world practice to send representatives of major religions to the Army. He observed that the Church is now renewing the practice of assigning staff spiritual counselors to the military. He added that around 1,000 Orthodox priests have been working in the Army as volunteers.Deputy head of the State Duma Committee for Defense Yury Savenko told Echo of Moscow that representatives of the main confessions in the Army can reduce the number of interethnic and inter-religious conflicts.Islam is the second largest religion after Orthodox Christianity in Russia, with around 8 million believers. Most of them are concentrated in the North Caucasus, the republics of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Western Siberia and also Moscow.Hmmmm.......Estimated total population of Russia :141,896,685.A minority dictating a huge majority.How things changed since Stalin's days ?Read the full story here.
- Hamas Says “Nothing Will Prevent Them” From Joining New Government With US-Funded Palestinian Authority.(Haaretz).Hamas will participate in any future Palestinian government, a senior official from the Islamist group said Thursday, refuting press reports that it might opt not to take part in a future administration.“Nothing would prevent us” from participating in any government after new elections, Salah al-Bardaweel, a high-ranking Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip told the German Press Agency DPA.The comments came after earlier media reports Thursday that Hamas might exclude itself from a future government – even if it won in elections – if that helped such a government to avoid international isolation.“This is totally incorrect and totally untrue,” said al- Bardaweel, arguing that the reports were intended to isolate Hamas politically and diplomatically.Hamas in April agreed to a reconciliation with the secular Fatah, the other major Palestinian bloc, after years of a sometimes bloody stand-off between the two, clearing the way for the two to form a unity government.But Hamas’ participation in any future government could turn into a diplomatic stumbling block for any Palestinian government, as Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist and its refusal to honor past Israeli-Palestinian agreements keeps entities like the United States and the European Union from recognizing it.Hmmmm.....Will the Obama regime 'out' itselves and openly fund a terrorist organisation,against the will of Congress?Read the full story here.
- Did Anthony Weiner, a Jew, convert to Islam to marry a Muslim?(BNI).Omar Abu-Namous is the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center in New York and he is encouraging Huma Abedin – a practicing Muslim – to stand by her husband, New York congressman Anthony Weiner. Why would this imam support Anthony Weiner, who was raised Jewish, in a marriage with a practicing Muslim woman?EVERY ISLAMIC SCHOLAR agrees that it is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim. Former Muslim Walid Shoebat has translated the Arabic declarations relative to the validity of the marriage between Weiner and Abedin last year. One such publication Shoebat translated was the Al-Marsid newspaper, which reported on the Weiner/Abedin marriage specifically:Dr. Anwar Shoeb of the faculty of Islamic law in Kuwait declared that the marriage between Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin is null and void, considering it adultery as confirmed in the Sharia position, prohibiting the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim, regardless of whether he is a Jew or a Christian. In this case, he assured the invalidity of the marriage certificate between them.Abu-Namous is in direct opposition to his Islamic superiors? Why? Huma Abedin was raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 2007, the New York Observer wrote (in an article no longer available but cross-posted at FreeRepublic.com) that her mother is a professor in Saudi Arabia and that her father was an Islamic scholar before his death.Weiner was raised Jewish but admitted to growing up in a non-religious household. If Abedin remains a practicing Muslim and her religion forbids her from marrying a non-Muslim, isn’t she failing to practice Islam? Wouldn’t that be the case unless Weiner converted to Islam? The New York Times reported that Weiner “sometimes fasts with her (Abedin) during Ramadan.” This would indicate that the congressman is more amenable to practicing Islam than Abedin is to practicing Judaism.Did Abedin reject Weiner because he was not Muslim? Why is a New York imam with ties to the ISNA and Feisal Abdul Rauf defending a non-Muslim male with a Muslim female?Perhaps there is a more important question that needs to be answered. Did a secular Jewish man convert to Islam or did his (still) practicing Muslim wife abandon her religion by marrying him?Read the full story here.
- The Beginning of the Panic.(DailyWealth).In the next few weeks, our country will enter a period without precedence in our experience.On June 30, the Federal Reserve has pledged to cease buying U.S. Treasury bonds. This is the second time since the financial crisis it has intervened in the Treasury market in a major way. The program of buying new Treasury issues has been dubbed "quantitative easing II" (QE2).We'd wager not one in 1,000 Americans has any idea (or at least any real understanding) of what has been going on in the market for U.S. Treasury bonds since the financial crisis. For the last nine months, the Fed has been printing up new dollars and buying huge amounts of newly issued debt from the U.S. Treasury – $600 billion of bonds. And these purchases followed a $1.75 trillion program of quantitative easing that ran from March 2009 to March 2010.It is no exaggeration to say that a printing press has kept our economy going for the last two years. But what will happen when the printing stops?While we honestly don't know, we're going to speculate that, in the short term, the U.S. dollar will rally and commodities will suffer a serious correction. We will see a dramatic slowdown in the rate of monetary inflation. People will think prices will stop going up. Economic activity will begin to decline. Fear will lead a lot of investors to "go to cash." That means buying short-term U.S. Treasury bonds because they're the most liquid, most frequently traded form of cash.As this process unfolds, we expect to see another global panic. Especially if Bernanke's decision to stop the presses coincides with a Republican political gambit – refusing to raise the debt ceiling, which could cause a default on U.S. Treasury bonds.Whether the debt ceiling is raised or not, it's only a matter of time before the Fed will have to turn on the presses again. And when "QE3" begins, it will send our creditors an unmistakable message: You will never be repaid in anything other than massively devalued paper.All around the world, more and more central banks are selling dollars and buying gold. They're doing so because they can plainly see America's credit has become unreliable and the value of the dollar is likely to decline.If you think you might be trading in something other than U.S. dollars in the future, you might not want to be holding U.S. dollars. You might want to be holding that currency.And if you can't hold that currency, consider holding gold.Good investing,Porter.Read the full story here.
- Related video - Must see! WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PRESENTATION IS CONTROVERSIAL AND MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME AUDIENCES. Viewer discretion is advised.Read and see the full story here.
- Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, or EHEC - 'A Totally New Disease Pattern'.(Spiegel).Doctors Shaken By Outbreak's Neurological Devastation.The patient at the Hamburg-Eilbek Hospital describes to doctors how she first had diarrhea, and then grew progressively weaker to the point where she could no longer eat and barely make it to the toilet. When blood appeared in her stool, she became terrified. The young woman at the hospital's intensive-care unit in the northern German port city suspects that lettuce was responsible for putting her in this deadly situation. She then breaks out in tears, completely distraught.
Thanks to several dialysis procedures, she will most likely survive her case of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a particularly aggressive complication related to the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, or EHEC, that has appeared in more than one-quarter of the patients infected by the bacteria. So far, around 2,800 people have been infected in the dramatic outbreak of this rare strain of E. Coli, with at least 722 contracting HUS and 29 dead so far in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The number of new cases has diminished this week, but the outbreak has left doctors pondering serious questions about the new epidemic. Rolf Stahl, a nephrologist at Hamburg's University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, explains that, "Neurologists are being confronted with a totally new disease pattern." Never before has an EHEC germ been as aggressive -- and many consider this to be a new epidemic.And although the majority will survive, some patients will have lasting and serious health problems. "A considerable number of the patients will permanently lose their kidney function and will be dependent on dialysis for the rest of their lives," says Stahl.Although the number of infections is slowing, no single treatment has been found that can be effective for the majority of patients. And that leaves people asking what will hapen the next time this super strain of E. coli infects a large number of people. Indeed, O104:H4 is giving the medical world a feeling of powerlessness it hasn't felt in a long time. Wertheimer compares it to the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s. "In the era of antibiotics, we suddenly had an infection that we couldn't treat. That was a shock."As in the AIDS epidemic, microorganisms are recapturing terrain once again, and doing so in a perfidious manner. The EHEC bacteria produce even more of their toxin when they die off. If antibiotics were used against the bacteria, the toxin would literally flood the body.And what of the appealing view of mankind triumphing over the infectious diseases of medieval times? A myth, says Wertheimer.Hmmmm.....A candidate for ' biological warfare'?Read the full story here.
- Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Democrats to Form ‘Perfect Slavery to Allah Party’.(BigPeace).Dr. Mohamed Badi, Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, now best described as The “Perfect Slavery to Allah” (hurriyya), or “Zabibah Party” (see discoloration from repeated prayer-induced skin trauma on his forehead) From Ikhwan Web:
Egypt’s largest political opposition the Muslim Brotherhood, has confirmed that it is preparing to establish a political party calling it the Freedom and Justice Party, or Horeya and Adala.”
Horeya or Hurriyya, Arabic for “freedom,” and the uniquely Western concept of freedom are completely at odds. Hurriyya “freedom” — as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master”, expressed it — “being perfect slavery.” And this conception is not merely confined to the Sufis’ perhaps metaphorical understanding of the relationship between Allah the “master” and his human “slaves.”
The late American scholar of Islam, Franz Rosenthal (d. 2003) analyzed the larger context of hurriyya in Muslim society. He notes the historical absence of hurriyya as “…a fundamental political concept that could have served as a rallying cry for great causes.”
An individual Muslim
…was expected to consider subordination of his own freedom to the beliefs, morality and customs of the group as the only proper course of behavior…
Thus politically, Rosenthal concludes,
…the individual was not expected to exercise any free choice as to how he wished to be governed…In general, …governmental authority admitted of no participation of the individual as such, who therefore did not possess any real freedom vis-a-vis it.
Bernard Lewis, in his analysis of hurriyya for the venerated Brill Encyclopedia of Islam, discusses this concept in the latter phases of the Ottoman Empire, through the contemporary era. After highlighting a few “cautious” or “conservative” (Lewis’ characterization) reformers and their writings, Lewis maintains,
…there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government—to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West. While conservative reformers talked of freedom under law, and some Muslim rulers even experimented with councils and assemblies government was in fact becoming more and not less arbitrary….
Lewis also makes the important point that Western colonialism ameliorated this chronic situation:
During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was never much of an issue. Though often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or after.
And Lewis concludes with a stunning observation, when viewed in light of the present travails of the so-called “Arab Spring,” and throughout the Muslim world, delusively optimistic assessments notwithstanding:
In the final revulsion against the West, Western democracy too was rejected as a fraud and a delusion, of no value to Muslims.Lastly, the pronounced prayer bump or “zabibah” on Mr. Badie’s forehead is pathogonomomic reminder of Islam’s Manichaen nature as described in Koran 48:29, and its mainstream understanding (Koranic commentary or “tafsir”):
[Pickthall translation] Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration.
Tafsir on this verse from Maariful Quran, pp. 104-105: The first quality of the Companions mentioned here is that they are hard against the unbelievers, and merciful to one another. It was proven time and again that they were harsh against the unbelievers. They sacrificed all their ethnic and tribal relations for the sake of Islam. This was especially demonstrated on the occasion of Hudaibiyah….In a Hadith recorded by Bukhari, the Holy Prophet has said, “He who loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah has attained the highest degree of faith”Hmmmm.....The 'People' the Obama regime supports with Billions of tax payer Dollars!Read the full story here.
- Christian girl being sexually abused to make her convert to Islam.(Very graphic video).Read and see the full story here.
- The Sultan of Istancool.(Spiegel)One supporter of the Turkish prime minister says that he admires how the irascible Erdogan now manages to keep his temper under control. At the same time, it is interesting that the man is unwilling to be quoted on the record. It offers a small insight into a serious liability in Erdogan's Turkey: Its leader has a problem with authority. He can't get enough of it.The premier, says Sedat Ergin, the head of the Ankara office of the Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet for many years, entered his first term eight years ago with great caution. He took stock of his adversaries in the army, the economy and the press, says Ergin, but he also treated them with respect. "He was decisive in advancing his policies, but he also exercised restraint," he says. According to Ergin, this changed after Erdogan's second election victory in 2007. "That was when he started using the power of the state more indiscriminately."
Ergin knows what he's talking about. The more critical newspapers were in their reporting on the government, the more sharply did the prime minister's office, the Basbakanlik, strike back. A cartoonist who took the liberty of portraying the prime minister as a cat found himself facing charges in court. The same thing happened soon afterwards to another cartoonist, who had drawn Erdogan as a blood-sucking tick on the back of a respectable citizen, as a comment on the government's taxation policies.The Dogan Group, which owns the secular Hürriyet and the Turkish division of the US news broadcaster CNN, was particularly hard-hit. In 2009, a dozen tax inspectors descended on the company. When they were finished with their audit, Dogan was slapped with an order to pay the government the equivalent of €2.2 billion ($3.2 billion)."That's the problem with Erdogan," says Ergin. "He is using the power of the state more and more arbitrarily to promote his political interests. There is no one left to keep him in check."
In 2008, a group of former senior military leaders were put on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Erdogan regime in its early years. The so-called Ergenekon trial, named, like the group of conspirators, after the mythical ancestral home of the Turks in Central Asia, had a cathartic effect on the people. For the first time, the previously untouchable officers were facing charges in a court of law.But the longer the trial dragged on, the wider the government cast its net, arresting professors, civil servants, attorneys and journalists opposed to the regime. In March, the astonished nation realized that what had been an important trial had turned into a vehicle with which the regime was eliminating its influential critics. That was when the police arrested and filed terrorism charges against investigative reporter Ahmet Sik, the journalist who had been one of the first to report on the Ergenekon group's alleged plans to overthrow the government, but then also looked at the pro-government Islamist network. Sik, along with 67 other journalists and dozens of professors, is still in prison today.In his self-aggrandizement, the premier who introduced historic change to Turkey, could become a growing liability for his country. His critics say that there is now little difference between Erdogan and Russia's strongman, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Of course, Russia hasn't applied for EU membership, but Turkey has. The prime minister's power trip is now backfiring on the Turks, increasing opposition to Turkey joining the bloc.
"This man is dangerous," says Celal Sengör, 56, a renowned seismologist. He experienced firsthand how the AKP intervenes in the autonomy of academia. In 2009, Sengör, the dean of Istanbul Technical University who holds a critical stance toward Islam, was told that he was being let go -- without any explanation or dismissal procedure. It was only the intervention of the president of the International Academy of Science that saved him from losing his job. Since then, Sengör has been even more disillusioned than he was before. "Europe shouldn't be naïve," he says. "Turkey simply isn't ready to be a true democracy."
- People like Sengör, who belong to Turkey's urban elite, are shocked when they open their morning newspapers to read horror stories from the provinces: of religious fanatics who sprayed acid onto the exposed legs of schoolgirls in Mersin; of a young woman near Malatya who was buried alive because she allegedly had a boyfriend; and of the rapes of two sisters in Siirt by almost 100 men.The brutality with which women are treated is as old as Turkey itself, and the previous regimes failed just as miserably when it came to protecting the victims. But between 2002 and 2009, the number of violent acts and so-called honor killings rose from 66 to 953. A woman dies every day, say human rights activists. The AKP argues that the figures are so high because more murders are now being reported and documented.Sociologist Binnaz Toprak acknowledges this as a possibility, but she also has another explanation: "The pressure to behave devoutly, to pray regularly, to fast and not to drink alcohol, has gone up. Society has become more conservative." A climate has developed in which women are no longer seen on the streets after dark outside the big cities, a climate in which some feel emboldened to interpret verses of the Koran in a misogynistic way.Toprak's analysis confirms the suspicions of secular Turks and skeptical Europeans that a broad segment of Turkish society espouses a view of the world and of women that is incompatible with that of the West. This casts a dark shadow over Turkey as an EU candidate.It's more likely that the Europeans and the Turks will continue to spend years talking at cross-purposes, but without expressing the two truths that everyone knows by now: that Europe doesn't want Turkey -- and that soon Turkey will no longer need Europe.Hmmmm......Keep the "Sultan and Teacher" Erdogan out of the European Union.Read the full story here.
- Syrian Website: Turkish Fighters Operating Against Syrian Security Forces.A Syrian website reports that in clashes in the Jisr Al-Shughur region in northern Syria, bordering the Turkish province of Alexandretta, 4,000 Turks are also participating, and so far some 200 of them have been captured by Syrian security forces. 'It was reported that the Syrian army was concentrating many forces in the region, anticipating a lengthy conflict, and that many residents had fled.Read the full story here.
- Iranian Website: Ahmadinejad Visit To Armenia Prevented Due To Ban On Entourage Members.The Iranian website Fararu said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Armenia, set for June 6, had been suddenly cancelled due to Iranian authorities' ban on leaving the country for two members of his entourage. Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi,senior advisor to Ahmadinejad, staid that the visit had been postponed for technical reasons, but it is thought that the matter is connected to the rift between Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.Read the full story here.